ORBIS HEROES FIGHTING ON THE FRONTLINES - INTERACTIVE TIMELINE

The wonderful Orbis team and our amazing partners have have been working hard on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some have been continuing urgent eye care under difficult circumstances, whilst others are using their skills to save lives and fight the pandemic.

Globally, the response to COVID-19 has been heart warming and, at times, has shown the true nature of humanity: brave, compassionate and understanding. Scroll through the below timeline to see what the Orbis family have been doing to improve the lives of people in their communities and deliver eye care to those who need it most.

FIGHTING BLINDNESS AND SAVING LIVES

VISION VAN TAKES EYE CARE TO PATIENT'S DOORSTEPS

The Susrut Eye Foundation and Research Center in Kolkata, India is bringing emergency eye care to the doorstep of patients who need it most through their "Reach Out for Eye Emergency" program. Each Vision Van is headed by a doctor, an optometrist, and two medical assistants. This team provides urgent eye care by screening and diagnosing emergency cases on board, while also taking the strain off local hospitals as they deal with the impact of COVID-19.

ORBIS STAFF ANESTHESIOLOGIST SAVING LIVES ON THE FRONTLINE

Dr. Choyce is a British anesthesiologist who has been part of our team for more than 15 years. During the pandemic Dr. Choyce is using his specialist skills to fight COVID-19 on the frontline, working in ICUs and literally saving lives. What's more, the training he's provided to countless partners around the world as part of his work on board the Flying Eye Hospital will mean many other anesthesiologists are now in a better positing to save lives in their own community. Well done Andrew!

MAKING PPE AND CREATING JOBS IN INDIA

Our amazing partner hospital Sadguru Netra Chikitsalya (SNC) is using a local women's group to sew and stitch protective clothing for health workers continuing emergency eye care. The women are given 4 days training and earn a basic income from their work as the hospital purchases the equipment at a fair price. We're so proud of our partners at SNC for this amazing project.

ORBIS STAFF NURSE SHARES INFECTION CONTROL SKILLS

Xiao Ying, a staff nurse from Wuhan, China, has worked aboard the Flying Eye Hospital for nearly a decade. Living in the epicenter of the pandemic, Xiao has written an article on the role of nursing and infection control in hospital settings during COVID-19 that has been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal. By sharing her expertise and knowledge, Xiao has been able to save lives during lockdown.

PARTNER HOSPITAL DELIVERS RELIEF PACKAGES

Akhand Jyoti, one of our partner hospitals in India, has gone above and beyond in their response to COVID-19. With many of their patients in vulnerable groups who have lost their ability to earn money during the pandemic, they are handing out food packages to those in need. They have handed out more than 11,500 packages with essentials like rice, flour and potatoes - ensuring these families don't go hungry. While delivering the food they also teach villagers to wash hands and stay a safe distance.

ORBIS VOLUNTEER EYE DOCTOR CHANGES ROLES TO HELP FIGHT VIRUS

Dr. Hurairah is an ophthalmologist from Brunei who has been volunteering with us since 2018. She was scheduled to join our Flying Eye Hospital program in Zambia this year, but with its postponement she is giving back in a different way. Dr. Hurairah has created training modules and lectures on the foundations of ophthalmology that she is generously sharing with the Zambian doctors who would have trained on the Flying Eye Hospital. On top of this educational work, she is also on the front lines of the pandemic in her home country, working with other healthcare professionals to test citizens for coronavirus. Thanks for all your're doing!

DR. SUH RAISES VITAL MONEY

Some of our wonderful Volunteer Faculty members are using their free time to raise vital funds for emergency eye care. Dr. Donny Suh is one such volunteer. He put his fear of dancing to one side to raise more than $3000 and put a smile on everyone's face with this hilarious routine. What a wonderful family!

URGENT EYE CARE CONTINUES IN BANGLADESH VISION CENTER

Staff at Mazharul Haque BNSB Eye Hospital have worked tirelessly to ensure urgent eye care can continue and the Orbis supported Vision Center remains OPEN. They've been trained to recognize the symptoms of Covid infection, to promote good hand washing practices, physical distancing and the use of masks to help the wider population combat the virus. Top work all round team!

SAVING THE SIGHT OF PREMATURE BABIES

Long time Orbis partner, Dr. Luz Gordillo, has not stopped her sight saving work during the pandemic. She continues to care for premature babies at risk of Retinopathy of Prematurity, a disease that cannot wait for the pandemic to end to be treated. She is putting her own health on line to ensure that these babies do not live a life of unnecessary blindness. Dr. Gorrdillo, we salute you!

ETHIOPIA DRIVERS RAISING AWARENESS

Local eye health Assistants and Drivers are working to keep their communities safe during the pandemic while routine eye services are temporarily suspended. Before the pandemic, these drivers would provide transportation for patients, spread eye care information, and distribute medicine. During the pandemic, the drivers have shifted gears to spread awareness for COVID-19 and transport essential healthcare workers. They're using some of their similar techniques and slogans, as "wash your hands frequently" is important for the prevention of both COVID-19 and trachoma.

ZAMBIA FLYING EYE HOSPITAL PROGRAM GOES VIRTUAL

While the Flying Eye Hospital program in Zambia may be postponed, the training has not stopped. Online lectures and courses are being delivered to participants from Orbis-partnered hospitals in Lusaka, Ndola, and Chupata through our telemedicine platform Cybersight. This online training is the first step of our blended learning platform which will culminate with in-person training in Zambia on the Flying Eye Hospital when normal service resumes.