Help our Flying Eye Hospital return to the skies

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, our unique aircraft, the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital, has been unable to fly. But with your support we can see it return to the skies once again to save the sight of many children. Children like Saliou, who received a life changing operation onboard the plane back in 2017.

Meet Saliou

Saliou in his favourite football shirt

Saliou was three years old when his parent’s noticed somethings was wrong with his right eye. He could not see far and would fall over when playing. He had also started to experience severe headaches and had a serious aversion to light. As a result, he struggled to write and see the blackboard at school. Eventually, the headaches became so frequent that Saliou was forced to drop out of school altogether.

A doctor initially told Saliou’s parents he needed glasses but in fact, he had a cataract.

Our Flying Eye Hospital

It was at a consultation at their local hospital that the family were told about Orbis and our Flying Eye Hospital, the world’s only fully accredited ophthalmic teaching hospital on board an aircraft. The plane was due to visit Saliou’s home in Yaounde, Cameroon, and he could receive an operation on board.

As the first person in his family to ever have an operation, his mother, Hawaou, was scared. “I thought about it a lot,” she says. “But his father told me that everything was going to be fine. Now, the eye problem has gone, so I’m happy.”

Saliou on the other hand, was just happy to be on our Flying Eye Hospital. “He talked about it a lot,” says Hawaou. “He was even happy to go for his check-up. The team did a great job and we’re very satisfied with the outcome.”

A Chance of a Brighter Future

Saliou wearing his new glasses at school

The difference to Saliou’s life since his operation has been significant. He is back at school and looks studious in his school shirt and glasses. He loves writing and writes in chalk all over the walls at home. Hawaou doesn’t seem to mind though, she just seems happy to see him smiling, and enjoying himself.

“He’s very active,” she tells us proudly. “He will hurt his head again now – but not from his eyes, from playing!” Saliou likes playing football with his brothers and sisters and changes into a Chelsea FC shirt the minute he arrives home from school. Now he can play football to his heart’s content, with no worries of injury due to his sight.

We Need You

Thanks to the Flying Eye Hospital Saliou’s sight was restored. However, due to the pandemic it has meant that our unique aircraft has been prevented from flying and has remained grounded. With your support our Flying Eye Hospital will return to the skies and will save more children’s sight, like Saliou, giving them the chance of a brighter future.

With your support our Flying Eye Hospital will return to the skies

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