How we turned challenges into opportunities | Orbis

How we turned challenges into opportunities

Maurice Geary, Director of Orbis’s Flying Eye Hospital tells us how your support has helped us respond to recent challenges.

The idea behind the Flying Eye Hospital has always been to bring high quality medical training to clinical teams who would not otherwise be able to access that level of learning. This mission hasn’t changed for over 40 years. What has evolved is how we can deliver that training. We still do live surgical training and lectures onboard the plane. But thanks to our supporters, in recent years, we introduced simulation using artificial eyes and mannequins. Our telemedicine platform, Cybersight is being used to deliver virtual courses, and doctors are able to connect with experts from around the world to discuss individual cases and surgical techniques.

So we were well placed to deliver virtual training to clinical teams in the five locations that we were scheduled to visit with the Flying Eye Hospital in 2020: Bolivia, Zambia, Cameroon, Mongolia and India.

Orbis was able to bring in volunteer experts to deliver live sessions through Cybersight, combining online modules and live Zoom sessions, so that people could access clinical training remotely in their own homes. There were concerns about internet access for the participants.

But actually, they were so engaged that after their shift they would get together with colleagues they had been working with on that shift, and watch using
the hospital’s WiFi. And we were able to shift the times of the live sessions to accommodate this.

This new way of learning means we are able to open up our training to a much wider audience. For example, we did a course in biomedical engineering, which initially was for the engineers of our partners in Zambia, but because this was virtual training, we were able to open that up to our partner hospitals right across Africa.

We have been working towards delivering a blended model, combining online learning with the in-person, hands-on, surgical skills training that we traditionally offer. Thanks to your support, this year has proved that we can continue to reach more people using this approach with the best of both
training methods.

You can support more work like this today.

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