World Sight Day 2023: Helping kids SEE LOVE | Orbis

World Sight Day 2023: Helping kids SEE LOVE

World Sight Day is Thursday, October 12 – a day to come together and celebrate the achievements of the entire eye health community and raise awareness of the important eye care issues on the horizon. This year, Orbis is focusing on the essential need of saving the sight of our youngest patients. Join us today to help children SEE LOVE!

Saving the Sight of Children Globally

We can all agree that no child should grow up at risk of vision loss when it can be treated or prevented. But around the world, there are nearly 90 million young people who suffer from moderate-to-severe vision loss from a variety of sight-stealing conditions, such as retinopathy of prematurity, trachoma, cataracts, ptosis, and strabismus.

Preserving the vision of children globally is among Orbis’s top priorities. By saving the sight of infants and children, we can give families hope of a brighter future ahead.

Children at risk of sight-stealing conditions can receive the eye care they need to heal or protect their vision. With healthy sight, kids will be able to see their parents’ faces and their family’s love as they grow up. They’ll see the blackboard at school clearly and be able to focus more confidently on their studies, allowing them to reach their full potential. Plus, they’ll see all the wonders of the world around them!

To advance our efforts and help children SEE LOVE, we’re using all of Orbis’s sight-saving tools to bring world-class vision care to young patients in need.

Through our REACH (Refractive Error Among Children) program, we partner with local schools to perform free eye screenings and help provide prescription glasses for school-aged children struggling to see in the classroom – helping them to reach their full potential with clear vision.

At the same time, we’re working to train local eye care professionals to provide quality pediatric care through crucial sight-saving projects, such as the Flying Eye Hospital – our state-of-the-art medical teaching facility on board a plane.

Local partners learn to treat common vision conditions through simulation and hands-on training. This includes such specialty training as anesthesiology, which is an important need in pediatric eye care as it helps doctors perform delicate eye surgeries for children. And with each stop, the Flying Eye Hospital project helps build and strengthen the skills of local eye teams so they can provide care to children in their communities for years to come!

In places like Peru, we help protect the sight of newborns at risk of life-long vision loss from the sight-stealing condition retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). By providing training and equipment to local pediatric specialists, we help prevent ROP so even our tiniest patients can grow up with healthy vision.

Now, with the Flying Eye Hospital’s most recent stop in Lusaka, Zambia, we are fighting vision loss among children by expanding pediatric access to eye health services and strengthening eye health throughout the country.

All of these efforts continue our critical work to end avoidable blindness for children and adults around the globe. On World Sight Day, we celebrate the support and generosity of the Orbis community – as well as the steadfast support and generosity from the Orbis community. Together, we’re helping kids SEE LOVE!


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How Orbis Provides Comfort and Care to Pediatric Patients

Orbis’s work to save the sight of children goes beyond eye screenings, sight-saving surgeries, and providing pediatric eye care training for local eye teams. We also understand the importance of helping children feel safe and comfortable before, during, and after receiving vision care – and Orbis staff and Volunteer Faculty members take extra steps for our littlest patients.

Gary Dyson not only serves as Orbis’s Chief Pilot for the Flying Eye Hospital, but he also travels with his guitar and plays for children as they wait to have their eyes examined. He shares, “I play my guitar for the children and, even when they don’t understand the language, they enjoy it. I let the children play the guitar too—anything to keep them busy and happy while they wait to be seen.”

Chief Pilot for the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital plays his guitar for little patients during a training program

Orbis's Chief Pilot for the Flying Eye Hospital serenades little patients.

Dr. Daniel Neely, an invaluable member of our Volunteer Faculty, travels around the world with Orbis saving children’s sight – using small toys during examinations. His playful spin on eye screenings keeps kids happy, while he helps to diagnose potential eye conditions.

Orbis Volunteer Faculty member Dr. Daniel Neely screens the eye of young female patient Lantu for strabismus

Lantu has her eyes examined by Volunteer Faculty member, Dr. Daniel Neely.

Dr. Helena Hurairah, an ophthalmologist with Orbis’s Volunteer Faculty, wanted to help kids feel comfortable after surgery, knowing that they would need restorative, healing sleep afterwards. While taking part in a sight-saving project in Mongolia, she learned traditional Mongolian lullabies in the local language to help soothe children and help them recover.

Orbis Volunteer Faculty member Dr. Helena Hurairah comforts her patient on board the Flying Eye Hospital

Dr. Helena Hurairah provides comfort to her patient after surgery.

And of course, Seymour the Bear, Orbis’s very own plush bear mascot, comforts kids after surgery and accompanies them home as they head towards a brighter future with healthy sight.

Young female patient Han from Vietnam outside the Flying Eye Hospital after sight-restoring surgery

Han hugs Seymour the Bear after her sight-restoring surgery.

Helping Children Worldwide See Love

Orbis and our partners go the extra mile to deliver vision care to children across the globe. We show kids the love they need at a critical time, while they show us their strength and courage.

We know how important good vision is to help young people make the most out of life and all its wonders. That's why we’re committed to ensuring that no matter where a child is born, they can see the world around them. And with the help of our caring supporters, Orbis can continue to preserve the vision of kids everywhere.

With healthy vision comes a chance to learn and play, to have hope for the future, and for every child to SEE LOVE around them.

This World Sight Day, Help Kids See Love

Donate today and you'll help Orbis provide safe and comfortable care for children worldwide!

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