By Alexa Kaczka
A flying eye hospital, commissioned by ORBIS, has landed in Doha, Qatar.
The plane is equipped with medical staff and treatment facilities offering ophthalmological treatment. Facilities on-board include a laser treatment room, operating room, sterilisation room, recovery room and an audiovisual/IT room.
The treatment team is comprised of five nurses, four doctors, two anaesthetists and a number of volunteers and translators.
ORBIS chairman Dr Robert Walters said: "We want to capture the attention of Qatar and raise awareness among the 39 million blind people in the world, as 80 per cent of them could see again with the appropriate eye care."
As well as treatment, the flying hospital provides teaching and training to eye care professionals to ensure that patients around the world are receiving the best possible care.
Dr Walters commented that this skills transfer was all part of ORBIS' dedication to "saving sight worldwide".
The flying eye hospital will visit Ethiopia and Zambia next.
by Martin Burns