Flying eye hospital to drop in at Stansted Airport

A FLYING eye hospital will make a rare visit to Europe when it touches down at Stansted Airport on Wednesday September 9. The unique aircraft – operated by sight-saving charity ORBIS – is arriving at the Essex hub as part of an official thank you to the c

A FLYING eye hospital will make a rare visit to Europe when it touches down at Stansted Airport on Wednesday September 9.

The unique aircraft - operated by sight-saving charity ORBIS - is arriving at the Essex hub as part of an official thank you to the charity's supporters.

Through the use of their plane and other programmes ORBIS helps to provide eye care in developing countries where it would be otherwise unavailable.

Consultant ophthalmologist and chairman of ORBIS UK's trustees, Rob Walters, said the charity was delighted to be hosted by BAA Stansted.


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"This plane not only delivers sight saving operations but also transfers knowledge and skills, empowering local doctors to restore sight and prevent blindness in their communities," he said.

The flying eye hospital is a DC-10 aircraft converted into a state-of-the art training facility. ORBIS's Medical Volunteers - consultant ophthalmologists, anaesthetists, and nurses - donate their time to transfer skills across continents.

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Flown by volunteer pilots from American Airlines and FedEx, the flying eye hospital reaches local medical staff who would not otherwise receive the training needed to keep their community free from avoidable blindness.

About 45 million people in the world are blind yet 80 per cent of them do not need to be because their blindness is preventable or curable with simple techniques.

Founded 27 years ago, ORBIS has benefited people in 87 countries, enhanced the skills of more than 230,000 healthcare practitioners and provided eye care treatment to almost 10 million people.

For more information visit www.orbis.org.uk

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