Countess of Wessex Visits the Flying Eye Hospital

November 2017

The Countess of Wessex visited the Flying Eye Hospital and our partner hospital - the Ispahani Islamia Eye Institute - during her tour of Bangladesh to help raise awareness of avoidable blindness.

Sophie Wessex has been a patron for the International Association for the Prevention of Blindness since 2003 and has visited our sight saving projects and the Flying Eye Hospital a number of times over the years.

The Flying Eye Hospital is currently in Bangladesh where our amazing volunteers will be providing a 2 week ophthalmic training programme hosted by Chittagong Eye Infirmary, one of our fantastic local partners. 

The Countess of Wessex took the time to meet Orbis staff, volunteers, local eye health specialists and young children during her tour of our work aboard the Flying Eye Hospital and at our partner hospitals - the Ispahani Islamia Eye Institute and the Chittagong Eye Infirmary & Training Complex. 

Bangladesh has a population of 164.9 million, 40% of whom are children. According the World Health Organization (WHO) there are more than 50,000 blind children with around 20,000 being as a result of avoidable causes. Approximately 1.3 million children aged between 5 - 15 have refractive error and around 150,000 have low vision – of which almost half of cases are treatable.  

The Countess of Wessex took the time to meet Orbis staff, volunteers, local eye health specialists and young children during her tour of our work as part of Qatar Creating Vision with the support of Qatar Fund for Development. 

She was even reacquainted with nurse Mammoth Adhikary, who the Countess met in 2009 when she also visited the hospital. Mammoth was involved in the very first Orbis Flying Eye Hospital programme in Bangladesh back in 1985 and is now head nurse at the hospital.

We'd like to extend a big thank you to the Countess and her team for all their help and support raising awareness of avoidable blindness.  

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