Date: 9th October 2013
October 9th, 2013. ORBIS – the worldwide sight saving charity – has taken four teenage students to Panama to see its Flying Eye Hospital in action. They experienced first hand the work that ORBIS does in providing specialist eye care treatments and operations in countries where these medical procedures are difficult, if not impossible, to access.
They found the once-in-a-lifetime experience moving and inspiring, further cementing their desire to train as doctors.
The group watched the ORBIS team of volunteer doctors and nurses train local medical staff in how to treat a wide variety of conditions that have left many patients on the brink of total blindness.
In just one week they witnessed the transformation of many lives. Children could return to school, old people could live independently and parents could start working to support their families because of the opportunities created by restoring their sight.
Student Fidan Damirova, aged 17, followed the progress of 78 year-old woman, Benigna, whose cataract operation resulted in a dramatic improvement of her eye sight.
She said: “Benigna told me that she could not do anything at home. She was dependent on her five children and she also missed reading books. After the operation she was very happy and excited. She could not wait to look after her grandchildren and read again.”
All four teenagers are studying at ACS International Schools in the UK. The school runs a sponsored internship programme in which students compete to earn a place on the trip accompanied by volunteer doctors and nurses from around the world who give up their holiday time to work on the programme.
On their return to the UK, all four have been inspired to pursue their medical careers. In addition they want to fundraise for the charity having seen first hand where the money goes.
Fidan added: “The work ORBIS does is truly life changing for people who cannot afford to get the medical help they need. I am very happy that I’ve had the opportunity to take part. It was an experience I will never forget.”
Since its foundation in 1982, ORBIS has provided 23 million people with eye care treatment. Healthcare professional volunteers have helped ORBIS improve the skills of over 300,000 local nurses and doctors in the poorest countries.
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For further information please contact: Wendy Richmond at Borough PR on 07866 263242.
ORBIS provides the tools, training and technology necessary for local hospitals to develop workable and lasting solutions to fight the tragedy of unnecessary blindness. By building their long-term capabilities, ORBIS helps its partner institutions take action - to reach a state where they can provide, on their own, quality eye care services that are affordable, accessible and sustainable. To learn more about ORBIS, please visit: www.orbis.org.uk
ACS: Founded in London, England, in 1967 to serve the needs of global and local families, ACS International Schools now educate over 3,400 students aged 2 - 18 from more than 70 countries. The schools – 3 in Greater London and 1 in Doha, Qatar – are non-sectarian and co-educational.