In March, Orbis Ireland welcomed the Flying Eye Hospital, the world’s only airborne ophthalmic training facility, to Dublin for the first time in ten years.

A specially designed and converted MD-10 aircraft, the Flying Eye Hospital combines the latest in avionics, hospital engineering, technology and clinical expertise, making it possible to bring ophthalmic training to communities in developing countries.

It features a modular design, 3D technology and live broadcast capabilities to train more doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals - ultimately treating more people and restoring their sight. The plane was available for tours from Thursday 2 March to Sunday 5 March during which time nearly 600 people got on board. 

Over the past 10 years, the people of Ireland have invested €4.33 million in providing eye care services across the southern regions of Ethiopia, an area that has a population of 2.2 million people. By 2019, Orbis Ireland’s aim is to conduct 17,000 eye surgeries, provide over 4,000 training sessions for eye care teams and health workers and prescribe over 6,000 pairs of glasses.

Maurice Cox

Chairman, Orbis Ireland

Over the past ten years, Orbis Ireland’s mis­sion has been to elim­i­nate a painful blind­ing eye dis­ease – tra­choma — from the poor­est regions of south­ern Ethiopia. Togeth­er, the unwa­ver­ing com­mit­ment and part­ner­ship from the Irish peo­ple, has allowed us to accom­plish so much to pro­vide basic eye care for those most in need. Bring­ing the plane to Ire­land was just one small way we can thank our sup­port­ers for their dedication.

The Flying Eye Hospital tours at Dublin Airport were proudly supported by FedEx Express, Dublin Airport, Cityjet, Swissport and the Irish Aviation Authority.

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