Orbis Completes Eye Care Training Program in Philippines
FedEx Fellowship Awarded to Local Doctor in the Field of Retina
Iloilo, Philippines – March 2, 2012 – Today marks the end of the FedEx-sponsored Orbis Flying Eye Hospital Program in Iloilo, Philippines.
In partnership with the Western Visayas Medical Center, the 18 visiting international volunteer faculty members, and with support from other Iloilo hospitals, the Flying Eye Hospital conducted an intensive skills-exchange and training program with 217 ophthalmic professionals. Over a two-week period from February 20 to March 2, 17 doctors, 10 nurses, and 15 technicians from the Western Visayas Region worked together to help save the sight of over 74 Filipinos, including 11 children.
Today, FedEx also awarded Dr. Marissa Doriefe I. Tubola the FedEx Fellowship for the Philippines program. For medical school, she attended De La Salle University, in Cavite. She is currently the Chief Resident at Western Visayas Medical Center. Dr. Tubola chose ophthalmology as a career because she wanted to help people suffering from avoidable blindness in the Philippines.
FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) has given their extensive financial, logistical, and operational support to Orbis for the past three decades, including support of the FedEx Fellows program. As part of this program, FedEx awards ophthalmologists the opportunity to complete fellowship training at some of the world’s leading eye institutes. In the Flying Eye Hospital’s 2010 program in Manila, FedEx and Orbis awarded this prestigious fellowship to Dr. Buenjim Mariano of St. Luke’s Medical Center’s International Eye Institute. Dr. Mariano has just completed his one-year fellowship in Neuro-Ophthalmology at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, United Kingdom.
Orbis will continue its sight-saving work from March 5 to 9 in the form of a Hospital-Based Program in Bacolod, in partnership with Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital. Together, these two ophthalmic training and treatment programs are the 11th and 12th Orbis programs conducted in the Philippines over the past 30 years.
About Orbis International
Orbis International is a nonprofit, humanitarian organization dedicated to saving sight worldwide. Orbis prevents and treats blindness through hands-on training, public health education, improved access to quality eye care, and partnerships with local health care organizations in an effort to eliminate avoidable blindness. By building their long-term capabilities, Orbis helps its partner institutions take action to reach a state where they can provide, on their own, quality eye care services that are affordable, accessible, and sustainable. To learn more about Orbis, please visit www.orbis.org.
FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of US$41 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world's most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 290,000 team members to remain "absolutely, positively" focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. For more information, visit news.fedex.com.
Blindness in the Philippines
Among the 7,107 islands of the Philippines, there are approximately 100 million people, of which more than 600,000 are blind. For those living in more urban, metropolitan environments, the Philippines provides first rate ophthalmic expertise and care, as well as advanced private care to those who can afford it. However, for those living in provincial communities, access to healthcare, including ophthalmic care, is poor and can be extremely difficult to access.
Facts on the Prevention of Blindness Worldwide:
On a global scale, 285 million people are visually impaired, of which 80 percent can be prevented or treated. Approximately 90 percent of all visually impaired people live in developing countries. The areas of significant global prevention progress include:
- Further development of eye health care services, which has led to increased availability and affordability
- Increased commitment to prevention and cure from national leaders, medical professionals and private and corporate partners
- Higher awareness and use of eye health care services by patients and the general population
- Implementation of effective eye health strategies to eliminate infectious causes of vision loss
Orbis and FedEx – Delivering Sight Worldwide
FedEx has been the leading aviation sponsor of Orbis for 30 years, providing millions of dollars of support in cash and in-kind contributions. In 2011, FedEx renewed a USD$5.5 million, five-year commitment made to Orbis in 2006, which includes the extension of the FedEx Fellows Program – an opportunity for local, talented doctors to receive the continuing medical education needed to address leading causes of avoidable blindness within their country and region. FedEx has taken its commitment to the next level with the donation of an MD-10 cargo aircraft to Orbis to be converted into the third-generation, state-of-the-art Flying Eye Hospital. Orbis benefits from the unparalleled FedEx global network and aviation expertise to help the Flying Eye Hospital take flight. FedEx pilots volunteer to fly the Orbis DC-10 to many of its medical programs and train other volunteer pilots, FedEx mechanics provide maintenance support, and FedEx team members around the world volunteer as part of the Orbis humanitarian team as interpreters, welcoming and escorting patients to and from their surgeries, and assisting with patient screenings. FedEx also provides complimentary transportation services to move critically needed medical supplies to Orbis clinics and programs worldwide, makes the FedEx flight training simulator available to train volunteer pilots, and manages the cost and performance of the annual safety checks for Orbis's flagship Flying Eye Hospital.