Expert Volunteers

Our world renowned expert volunteers are the heartbeat of our training programmes. For more than 30 years, our goal has been to share the skills and knowledge they have built to help prevent avoidable blindness around the world.

One of the most critical issues in global eye health is the lack of an adequately trained workforce. Our global network of expert volunteers give up their free time to share their skills and knowledge to help improve the quality of patient care and ensure more people can see.  

This is the very reason Orbis was formed - to provide ongoing training and support to eye care teams around the world. Comprised of world leading experts in eye health, our global force of 400 volunteer ophthalmologists, nurses, anaesthetists and biomedical engineers from over 30 countries, share their skills with local teams to help improve the level of eye care for generations to come. 

Racheal sees her mother for the first time

May 29, 2017

When Verah heard there was going to be an Orbis eye screening in Mansa Village, she bicycled with her daughter, one-year-old Racheal, 60 kilometers from her home to the Mansa Hospital.
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After a year of darkness, Racheal had her bandages removed and saw her mum, Verah’s, face for the very first time.

By talking to our partner hospitals and their staff, we create teaching programmes tailored specifically for their needs. Our volunteers conduct this training and pass on the tools to undertake more complicated procedures, improve surgical outcomes and most importantly of all, restore sight to those in need of assistance.

Our teams of volunteers also mentor people from around the world through our telemedicine platform, Cybersight. With 90% of the world’s blind population living in low income settings, this training is making eye care more accessible where it is needed most. 

Volunteers in the news

The life-changing flying eye hospital treating blindness across the globe

In Kitwe, the second largest city in Zambia, young mother Verah is carrying her one-year-old daughter, Racheal, into the consultation room at the eye annexe. The only dedicated paediatric eyecare centre in the country, the Kitwe annexe also attracts patients from neighbouring Angola and Congo.

On Board The Flying Eye Hospital

I think if I wasn't an anaesthetist, I would have liked to have been a pilot. There's a lot of similarities, in terms of responsibility, it's a practical role, it's science based. In the end though - I like my patients. Most of my anaesthetic practice is with children.

BMJ Christmas charity appeal: Orbis's Flying Eye Hospital-going places where other charities often can't

I think if I wasn't an anaesthetist, I would have liked to have been a pilot. There are a lot of similarities between the two: in terms of responsibility, and that it's a practical, science based role.

Your support means our amazing volunteers can run training programmes which not only help share critical skills, but give the gift of sight to those needlessly living in a world of darkness. 

Thanks to your support and the help of our volunteers, children can see their parents for the first time; an elderly man regains his vision meaning his grandchild can go to school and no longer needs to be a carer; or a mother can receive surgery and return to work to support her family.