Vietnam Time

9/8/2019 2:34:04 PM

Take a look inside Orbis Flight Hospital - the world's only flying eye hospital

Find more about the world’s unique plane, a university and eye hospital operating in Hue from August 19 to September 6, 2019.

Orbis is an international non-government organization with its headquarters in New York, USA , with the aim of preventing and treating blindness can be avoided. Source: Orbis Vietnam

One more summer, Orbis Flight Hospital has returned to the S-nation, this has been the 7th time, Orbis flight to Vietnam and this year's stop is in Hue - the center of the country.

Orbis is a global non-profit organization headquartered in New York that works to prevent and treat avoidable blindness through hands-on training, public health education, and improved access to quality eye care, through partnerships with local health care organizations. Since 1982, Orbis has been a pioneer in global eye health and has worked in 92 countries. Orbis's story began with our first Flying Eye Hospital, a fully-equipped mobile teaching hospital on board an aircraft.

Orbis Flight Hospital is the only modern ophthalmic training model, compact on the MD-10 aircraft in the world. Source: Orbis Vietnam

This has been also the second time, the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital program has returned to Thua Thien Hue province to conduct a 3-week training program from August 19 to September 6 with the aim of improving the professional capacity in the treatment of eye diseases which can cause blindness, such as cataract, glaucoma, strabismus in children, oculoplastic surgery and fundus diseases for doctors and staffs of Hue Eye Hospital and Hue National Institute of Ophthalmology.

From 1982 to the present, this is the third generation aircraft. Source: Orbis Vietnam

Throughout the three-week project the team was joined by 25 Orbis Volunteer Faculty from the US, Germany, Vietnam, Canada, UK, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Turkey, sharing their skills and sub-specialty knowledge with local teams.

Training sessions led by these sector-leading experts can be broadcast live to teams in remote regions through Orbis online training platform - Cybersight.

This three-week project focuses on diabetic retinopathy, retinopathy of prematurity and childhood blindness.

The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital program is proceeded with theoretical lectures, case studies, surgical exercises on simulators, clinical observations, hands-on practical training, and such as participating in scientific seminars and topic seminars. Source: Orbis Vietnam

“I think Vietnamese are friendly and eager to learn, especially ophthalmologists. I’m amazed that they can do with so little that they have. I think they are very adaptive. They are able to use what they have in equipment to do an excellent job and I believe if they have right equipment they could be doing a good job as anywhere in the world,” Voluntary Faculty’s doctor Lam Wai Ching shares his impression of local doctors who are hands-on-trained under Orbis Flying Eye Hospital in Hue from August 19 to September 6, 2019.

“You can go to any part of the world, do a hundred surgeries, you help 100 patients which is good but it’s not that good because they are millions of patients. What is good about Orbis is when we come here to teach, we handpick carefully selected physicians that have gaps in their knowledge and things that are not currently being provided for the local community. We come here, we spend a week, we teach the local physicians in continuing to do things, so we take care of much more than 100 patients that way,” said Dr. Tim McCulley.

The Flying Eye Hospital has a long history in Vietnam - it first visited Da Nang in 2006 with follow up projects in 2008, 2010, and 2012. It was in Ho Chi Minh in 2009, Hue and Hanoi in 2015 and Binh Dinh and Can Tho in 2017.

Since 2006, over 1500 patients have been examined with nearly 800 adults and children receiving sight saving surgery on board the plane. Of course, as the plane is primarily a teaching and training facility the real impact comes in those we train - around 1300 doctors, nurses and medical technicians have received training from some of the best in the business.

This has been also the second time, the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital program has returned to Thua Thien Hue province.

"Ten years of cooperation with Orbis with a great deal of training courses and trips to Hue by the Eye Flying Hospital, this is a rare opportunity for local ophthalmologists to have their capacities strengthened. Started with almost nothing, we have so far been enabled to handle most of pediatric eye problems either in Hue or in the region. Thousands of children have been operated for their eyesight protection," said Dr. Pham Minh Truong, Director of Hue Eye Hospital.

After three weeks, ophthalmologists and doctors from the Hue Eye Hospital have provided free eye examinations and consultations for over 230 patients across the country, more than 120 of whom received free surgeries and treatments.

On the occasion, Vietjet Aviation Joint Stock Company and Orbis Interntional signed a cooperation programme to bring good eyesight to Vietnamese people. The one-million USD project will be carried out in three years./.

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