Orbis heroes fighting on the frontlines - interactive timeline

The wonderful Orbis team and our amazing partners have been working hard on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. Some have been continuing urgent eye care under difficult circumstances, whilst others are using their skills to save lives and fight the pandemic.

Globally, the response to COVID-19 has been heart warming and, at times, has shown the true nature of humanity: brave, compassionate and understanding. Scroll through the below timeline to see what the Orbis family have been doing to improve the lives of people in their communities and deliver eye care to those who need it most.

Fighting blindness and saving sight

Orbis staff anaesthesiologist saving lives on the frontline

Dr. Choyce is a British anaesthesiologist who has been part of our team for more than 15 years. During the pandemic Dr. Choyce is using his specialist skills to fight COVID-19 on the frontline, working in ICUs and literally saving lives. What's more, the training he's provided to countless partners around the world as part of his work on board the Flying Eye Hospital will mean many other anaesthesiologists are now in a better positing to save lives in their own community. Well done Andrew!

Urgent eye care continues in Bangladesh vision centre

Staff at Mazharul Haque BNSB Eye Hospital have worked tirelessly to ensure urgent eye care can continue and the Orbis supported Vision Centre remains OPEN. They've been trained to recognise the symptoms of coronavirus infection, to promote good hand washing practices, physical distancing and the use of masks to help the wider population combat the virus. Top work all round team!

Partner hospital delivers relief packages

Akhand Jyoti, one of our partner hospitals in India, has gone above and beyond in their response to COVID-19. With many of their patients in vulnerable groups who have lost their ability to earn money during the pandemic, they are handing out food packages to those in need. They have handed out more than 11,500 packages with essentials like rice, flour and potatoes - ensuring these families don't go hungry. While delivering the food they also teach villagers to wash hands and stay a safe distance.

Dr. Suh raises vital money

Some of our wonderful Volunteer Faculty members are using their free time to raise vital funds for emergency eye care. Dr. Donny Suh is one such volunteer. He put his fear of dancing to one side to raise more than $3000 and put a smile on everyone's face with this hilarious routine. What a wonderful family!

Saving the sight of premature babies

Long time Orbis partner, Dr. Luz Gordillo, has not stopped her sight saving work during the pandemic. She continues to care for premature babies at risk of Retinopathy of Prematurity, a disease that cannot wait for the pandemic to end to be treated. She is putting her own health on line to ensure that these babies do not live a life of unnecessary blindness. Dr. Gorrdillo, we salute you!

From saving sight to saving lives

Bwalya Mwenya has been an ophthalmic clinical officer in Zambia since 2018. However, when her hospital was converted into an isolation centre for patients with coronavirus, Bwalya saw her role change dramatically. She now works on a checkpoint with her colleagues and two soldiers, checking vehicles running between Ndola and Lusaka. She takes people's temperatures and spreads awareness of the threat of coronavirus.

Making PPE and creating jobs in India

Our amazing partner hospital Sadguru Netra Chikitsalya (SNC) is using a local women's group to sew and stitch protective clothing for health workers continuing emergency eye care. The women are given 4 days training and earn a basic income from their work as the hospital purchases the equipment at a fair price. We're so proud of our partners at SNC for this amazing project.

Zambia Flying Eye Hospital programme goes virtual

While the Flying Eye Hospital program in Zambia may be postponed, the training has not stopped. Online lectures and courses are being delivered to participants from Orbis-partnered hospitals in Lusaka, Ndola, and Chupata through our telemedicine platform Cybersight. This online training is the first step of our blended learning platform which will culminate with in-person training in Zambia on the Flying Eye Hospital when normal service resumes.

Can you be an Orbis hero?

You can join the list of extraordinary people doing what they can to help deliver emergency eye care and save lives today. Simply donate below to become an Orbis hero.

Donate today

Help our heroes deliver urgent eye care