Key Policy Makers and Ophthalmic Practitioners Descend Upon
Tanzania for Regional Workshop in Conjunction with the
NEW YORK – July 1, 2008 – In conjunction with a two-week sight saving and skills exchange program, ORBIS International, operator of the world’s only airborne teaching facility – the ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital – will host the second annual VISION 2020: Right to Sight (V2020) workshop in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
This workshop, in session from July 9 – 11, connects key policymakers and ophthalmic practitioners from eight East African countries - including
Ethiopia - to discuss the region’s critical eye care issues, as well as their V2020 programs, blindness prevention strategies and plans. During the first conference hosted last year by ORBIS in
Ethiopia, V2020 representatives were able to share case studies, policies and guidelines that led to the creation of an action plan inclusive of 17 recommendations for furthering the goals of eliminating preventable blindness in
“Bringing people and nations together toward the common goal of eliminating the needless suffering of 28 million blind people throughout the world is at the heart of what ORBIS is about,” said Geoffrey Holland, executive director and CEO of ORBIS International. “As a founding member of VISION 2020, our collaboration and partnership in hosting this workshop creates another tremendous opportunity to foster dialogue between East African nations in their fight against avoidable blindness.”
Hospital Returns to
In partnership with the Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar es Salaam, the ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital, and its multinational medical team, began an intensive, two-week training program on June 30, in which 30 ophthalmologists are receiving training in the diagnosis and management of diabetic retinopathy and other retinal diseases, pediatric cataracts, oculoplastics, and glaucoma (pediatric and adult), and approximately 50 patients are scheduled to receive surgical and laser treatments.
Through the course of this program, ORBIS will take this opportunity to introduce Cyber-Sight ©, the organization’s telemedicine initiative, to local and regional ophthalmologists for continued medical education and e-consultations, along with a biomedical engineering program working with students from the Dar Institute of Technology.
In August 2003, the ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital first landed in Tanzania and held a four-week comprehensive training program. Since then, six hospital-based training programs have been held in partnership with the host hospital, including a four-week biomedical/nursing program and multi-subspecialty hands-on training sessions in small incision cataract surgery, phacoemulsification, glaucoma, pediatric strabismus, orthoptics, medical retina, oculoplastics, and medical photography. Each ORBIS program was designed to build on the previous programs, to further strengthen and raise the capacity level of the Muhimbili National Hospital.
Setting the Tone of Global Cooperation
ORBIS retains a global pool of medical professionals dedicated to the preservation and restoration of sight. These individuals are trained and certified experts with teaching experience in ophthalmology, anesthesiology, nursing, biomedical engineering, eye banking and other related eye care fields.
Dar es Salaam, hands-on training, surgical demonstration, diagnostic and post-operative consultations and lectures will be provided by:
- Dr. Gordon Douglas,
- Dr. Robert Kersten, Park Avenue Oculoplastics,
- Dr. Ashwinikumar Sainani, PD
- Dr. Manish Dave, Chandaben Patel Homeopathic
- Dr. Martin Devoto, Universidad del Salvador School of Medicine,
- Dr. Adolfo Guemes, Universidad del Salvador School of Medicine,
- Dr. Cherly Gooden,
Mount Sinai Medical Center,
- Dr. Isabelle Schmit,
- Ms. Mairead English,RN,
- Mr. Robyn Frick, Eastern
About ORBIS International
ORBIS International is a nonprofit global development organization dedicated to saving sight worldwide. Since 1982, ORBIS programs have benefited people in 86 countries, enhancing the skills of more than 195,000 health care personnel and providing eye care treatment for more than 6.8 million people. To learn more about ORBIS, please visit www.orbis.org.