young Orbis glaucoma patient looking out of Flying Eye Hospital window

Virtual Flying Eye Hospital Training on Glaucoma Wraps Up in Vietnam

Our virtual Flying Eye Hospital training project, designed to boost skills to minimize the impact of glaucoma in Vietnam, has wrapped up!

Kindly supported by our long-standing sponsor FedEx, the ten-week project brought together a dozen ophthalmology residents to level up their surgical skills and knowledge to tackle glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness and vision loss that is on the rise in Vietnam.

If you aren’t familiar with the sight-stealing condition, glaucoma is the result of damage to the nerve connecting the eye to the brain, caused by pressure from fluid buildup in the eye.

The country is seeing an increase in glaucoma cases, especially among its younger population, as the country continues to face shortages of skilled eye care professionals and limited access to quality eye care, particularly in rural areas.

Developing Skills, Knowledge & Confidence

By equipping eye health professionals with skills, knowledge, and confidence on how to tackle vision loss from glaucoma, teams are empowered to manage the condition for their patients more effectively and prevent irreversible sight loss in their communities. This kind of training therefore helps create brighter futures for thousands of people.

First launched back in May and delivered in Vietnamese, the project consisted of pre-learning courses on our telemedicine platform, Cybersight; interactive live lectures delivered weekly by our Volunteer Faculty (medical experts); and cutting-edge simulation training.

Residents built their mastery of each specific step in a procedure known as trabeculectomy—a surgery that creates a new pathway for the built-up fluid inside the eye to be drained.

Following each live session, participants were able to put their newfound skills to the test and practice the surgical step they learned that week on artificial eyes before submitting a video of themselves performing the simulated technique for review and feedback from our clinical team.

Speaking about the training, Dr. Omar Salamanca, Orbis Staff Ophthalmologist and a glaucoma specialist, said: “Glaucoma is often a silent problem—you don’t feel any symptoms of glaucoma until you get to the final stages. But if you identify the glaucoma very early, you will be able to get medical treatment through laser or surgery. But as a doctor, you will need to be prepared to deal with different glaucoma stages.”

Unfortunately, in many countries around the world, people are living with glaucoma, but they are unaware of the condition. As a result, local eye doctors have to face very severe stage glaucoma. And that's why it's very important to provide specific training in glaucoma prevention, adequate screening, and procedures to treat it properly.

Hear From Our Project Participants

Five ophthalmology residents share how their virtual Flying Eye Hospital experience has helped increase their knowledge and hone their skills.

A Huge Thank You for Changing Lives

orbis and fedex planes parked side by side

For more than 30 years, FedEx has supported our sight-saving projects.

We had an amazing time working alongside these residents on this critical Flying Eye Hospital project. Extra skills and knowledge were taken away by a new generation of ophthalmologists so they can better treat glaucoma cases and preserve vision on behalf of their patients in Vietnam—in turn, reducing the burden of blindness.

All of this was made possible thanks to the unwavering generosity and commitment of our long-standing sponsor FedEx, which has supported our sight-saving projects for more than 30 years!

Speaking about the steadfast support of our sponsor, Dr. Omar Salamanca added: "What I have to say to FedEx—and the FedEx employees—is a heartfelt thank you because you, collectively, make it possible for so many doctors in different countries to build skills in different aspects of ophthalmology. This in turn positively impacts the lives of so many patients.”

Another great big thank you to our expert volunteers, wonderful supporters, and last but not least, our training participants.

Thanks to your dedication, more people can live much brighter lives.

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When doctors get the training they need, patients get the care they deserve.

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