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Company : ORBIS 
Wednesday, November 22, 2000 10:14AM IST (4:44AM GMT)
12th mission in India and second in Ahmedabad
New Delhi, Delhi, India

ORBIS, the " flying eye hospital and teaching facility" has completed its second mission at Sardar Vallabhbhai International Airport. ORBIS had last come to Ahmedabad in the year 1994. The program has been conducted in partnership with the Government of Gujarat and the Gujarat and Ahmedabad Ophthalmological Societies. ORBIS and its team of doctors, nurses, bio-medical engineers and other allied professionals came from 12 countries, along with nine volunteer international experts who come from Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.

During the three -week programme, ORBIS screened 284 patients as potential candidates for surgical teaching cases. The ORBIS team conducted 48 surgeries in the aircraft and at M&J Institute of Ophthalmology; and 17 laser procedure demonstrations on the plane. 

ORBIS first came to India in 1998 with the first plane program in New Delhi and Hyderabad. Ahmedabad marks the second ORBIS plane visit to India in 2000. The first visit was to Bangalore in February.

India has been identified as one of the six priority countries for future long-term programme by ORBIS. To foster continued education and training, ORBIS established an office in New Delhi. According to Dr Raj Kumar, The Country Director, ORBIS India, "In India, the challenge is to take state of the art technology for eye care to smaller cities and peripheral areas. For this, in addition to the Plane programs, ORBIS has planned for projects in Eye banking, Childhood blindness and Telemedicine in India."

During the three-week DC 10 program, over 100 ophthalmologists participated in the plane program, which included lectures as well as workshops and surgeries on-board the aircraft. Evening lectures were held once a week and had an average attendance of 50 doctors. A wet lab was set up so doctors could practice cornea transplants and two forms of cataract extraction: phacoemulsification and extracapsular (ECCE) surgeries on animal eyes.

ORBIS anesthetists shared their skills with three of their local counterparts on -board the plane. The ORBIS nurses worked with twelve local nurses in a preceptorship program. The preceptorship offered an intense training program for the nurses with the objective that they would be able to teach their colleagues in the hospitals. The nurses participated in daily lectures and had the opportunity to work in the plane's operating, substerile and recovery rooms.

"This mission programme saw an active exchange of ideas and knowledge among the crew, the visiting faculty and the local medical fraternity. We hope this mission was able to provide training and the transfer of sustainable skills, as requested by the Ahmedabad ophthalmologists.

We wish to thank and acknowledge the excellent support of the medical community, all the government agencies, and business organizations. Without their hard work and dedication this programme would not have been possible." said Sally Robinson, the mission director on DC-10.

During the program, Ms. Kathy Spahn, President of ORBIS International, also visited Ahmedabad and held discussions with the participating doctors and nurses at M & J Institute of Ophthalmology and Nagari hospital.

ORBIS has also donated educational material to the ophthalmologists of Gujarat. The materials donated are a set of video recordings from the ORBIS library, containing instructive surgical procedures performed in Ahmedabad and across the world.

ORBIS is a non-profit humanitarian organization that works in countries to save sight through hands-on training, public health education and improved access to eye care services. The next plane program in India will be organized in Chennai during September-October next year.

Media Contact Details
Pushpa Nair, pushpa@business2media.com, +91-11-3326022
Pushpa Nair, pushpa@business2media.com, +91-11-3326022
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