in Aerospace / Events

Orbis bringing Flying Eye Hospital to FIA2020

Posted 19 June 2019 · Add Comment

Official charity partner for the July 2020 Farnborough International Airshow (FIA), sight-saving charity Orbis, is bringing its Flying Eye Hospital to the Airshow.

Orbis’s Flying Eye Hospital is the world’s only ophthalmic teaching hospital on board an MD‐10 aircraft and represents an extraordinary alliance between the medical and aviation industries. The charity provides local eye care professionals with hands‐on training through their world class volunteers, who together treat patients and restore sight in remote and under resourced communities.

Seventy five percent of visual impairment globally is avoidable. Africa, Asia and Latin America are the core focus for Orbis as 89 per cent of the world’s 36 million blind people live in developing nations.

The MD‐10 aircraft comprises a DC‐10 fuselage with an upgraded digital flight deck requiring only a captain and a first officer to fly the aircraft. Facilities on board include:

The Yuen Yee Operating Room: strategically located on the most stable part of the aircraft, in line with the wings. Five cameras generate high‐definition images of the procedures. The floor and ceiling of the room have been reinforced to accommodate a teaching microscope, surgical equipment and supplies for operations and to support the storage of equipment during flight.

The L’OCCITANE Patient Care and Laser Treatment room: with three optical lasers for anterior and posterior procedures as well as an additional unit for general laser surgeries. This room also features a simulation centre, which allows local ophthalmology teams to learn complex skills in a controlled environment.

The Alcon Classroom: here local medical professionals are invited to participate in workshops, presentations and observe live surgical demonstrations. The aircraft’s audio‐visual system enables participants to interact in real time with the surgeon operating whilst watching on a 3D screen, allowing viewers to feel as if they are peering down the microscope. These surgeries and lectures are broadcast through Orbis’s online telemedicine platform Cybersight connecting doctors around the world to training programmes even if they are unable to attend in person.

Audio‐visual room: controls seventeen cameras, eight microphones and 54 video monitors stationed throughout the plane.

Gareth Rogers CEO of Farnborough International said: “Having Orbis as our official Airshow charity is a source of enormous pride and we are absolutely thrilled to host their Flying Eye Hospital. “This is a rare occasion for our Airshow exhibitors and visitors to get up close to a unique marriage between aerospace and medicine; an inspiring innovation which is delivering extraordinary results in some of the world’s most hard‐to‐reach locations.”

Rebecca Cronin, Chief Executive, Orbis UK commented: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Farnborough Airshow and to be bringing our unique aircraft to this prestigious event. As one of the most important aviation gatherings in the world, it presents an amazing opportunity to raise awareness of our sight saving work and eye health in general.”

In 2018, Orbis UK supporters helped Orbis to deliver just under 333,000 surgeries and optical treatments, over three million screenings and almost 59,500 training sessions for doctors, nurses, community health workers and teachers across Africa and Asia.


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