Supporting Our Partners & Delivering Critical Eye Care Services

While many of our planned activities around the world have understandably been delayed, there are essential and emergency eye care services that are still being provided by our incredible partners, which will continue to be supported by Orbis.

Conditions like retinal detachment, retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and trauma to the eye require urgent medical attention to prevent permanent vision loss or blindness. In retinoblastoma cases (a rapidly developing cancer), timely treatment can even be a matter of life or death. The dedicated Orbis team continues to deliver this emergency sight-saving care for children and adults in urgent need, whenever and wherever it’s safe to do so. For example:

PERU

Dr. Luz Gordillo, an ophthalmologist at Instituto Damos Vision in Lima, has shown incredible dedication and commitment in continuing to provide care for premature babies born with ROP who could go permanently blind without immediate treatment.

Dr. Luz Gordillo examines a premature baby born with ROP

ETHIOPIA

Orbis-trained eye care workers in community eye clinics continue to perform sight-saving surgeries and distribute vital antibiotics to treat blinding trachoma. As well, glaucoma patients are still being provided with access to the important eye drops they need to manage their condition.

ZAMBIA

In Zambia, some cataract and traumatic cases continue to be treated. In addition, Orbis's partner hospital, Kitwe Eye Annexe, continues to provide pediatric strabismus, cataract and ptosis patients with ongoing care to prevent a lifetime of compromised vision or blindness.

VIETNAM

In Vietnam, urgent diabetic retinopathy and retinal treatments continue. As well, ROP and trauma cases are still being treated as care must be provided within 24-32 hours of diagnosis by committed Orbis-trained medical teams at our partner hospitals.

NEPAL

In Nepal, our partners continue to treat emergency cases. In fact, there’s been an increase in the number of traumatic pediatric cases being seen, such as from pencil injuries, as more children are at home rather than at school due to the lockdown. There were 9 pediatric trauma cases in just 2 weeks.

CHINA

Except for some emergency glaucoma, trauma and pediatric cases, most eye care treatments were stopped in February and March, but our partner hospitals are now looking at the potential to restart non-emergency treatments soon.

MONGOLIA

Our partners continue to treat urgent ROP cases and screen premature babies at risk of developing the potentially blinding condition.

BANGLADESH

In addition to emergency ROP, glaucoma and trauma cases, selected cataract surgeries are continuing and patients with red eye conditions are still being treated as this can be a sign of other sight- or life-threatening health issues.

At Mazharul Haque BNSB Eye Hospital, Orbis-trained staff are currently providing specialized emergency eye care services at the base hospital in Chandpur, as well as at community Vision Centers. Following guidelines from the World Health Organization and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, treatment is being provided for poor and ultra-poor children free of cost through the National Childhood Blindness Project.

In addition to supporting our partner hospitals with their emergency eye care services, Orbis is supporting our partners and governments who are directly responding to the COVID-19 situation. This includes things like:

  • Building community awareness about COVID-19 and how to stop the spread of the virus
  • Working directly with our partners to strengthen their waste disposal systems, which will be critical in their COVID-19 response
  • Distributing food packets to families in underserved neighbourhoods
  • Planning virtual round tables to discuss the impacts of COVID-19, as well as ongoing mitigation strategies

Staff at Mazharul Haque BNSB Eye Hospital in Chandpur, Bangladesh thank Orbis for their continued support.

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