Royal Visit to Orbis’s Work

In November, Her Royal Highness, The Countess of Wessex, visited our sight-saving work in Bangladesh. The first stop was Ispahani Islamia Eye Institute & Hospital in Dhaka. There she met patients and staff including Head Nurse, Mammoth Adhikary, who took part in our first Flying Eye Hospital programme in Bangladesh in 1985!

The Countess continued to Chittagong where our 10th Bangladesh Flying Eye Hospital programme was underway, visiting both the plane and our partner Chittagong Eye Infirmary & Training Complex.

She was enchanted by four-year old Fatima, who could see after cataract surgery performed by the amazing local medical staff and our volunteers. Fatima was very happy with her snazzy new sunglasses and super Omega teddy, which kept a big grin on her face.

The work The Countess visited is part of Qatar Creating Vision, led by Orbis and supported by the Qatar Fund for Development. This initiative aims to reach many of the 473,000 blind children struggling with their vision across India and Bangladesh.

A big part of this programme is working with schools to train teachers to carry out basic eye exams, and to identify any children who may need glasses or surgery. 

To date, 2.4 million eye tests have been provided to children and 27,000 training sessions for doctors, teachers and community workers have been conducted across India and Bangladesh since July 2016.

Her Royal Highness, The Countess of Wessex commented: “As Global Ambassador for the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, I am keenly aware of the vast numbers of blind and visually impaired people across the world whose lives might be very different if they could access treatment.

Children are missing out on opportunities to learn, to play, to have big dreams and achieve them, simply because they don’t have access to a pair of glasses or routine surgery. 


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