Orbis brings sight to Manila

August 25, 2010

New York - The world's only eye surgical and training hospital with wings will touch down in Manila to deliver sight-saving surgeries to those suffering with blindness and visual impairments, and to conduct skills exchange programs with the local ophthalmic community.

ORBIS International is an international non-profit non-governmental organization (NGO) focusing on prevention of blindness and the treatment of eye diseases in developing countries. It is best known for its "flying eye hospital", presently a McDonnell Douglas DC-10.

The Flying Eye Hospital is scheduled to arrive on August 27, 2010 at Ninoy Aquino International Airport for a two week Ophthalmic Skills Exchange Programs sponsored by Federal Express.

"The support we receive from FedEx enables the delivery of improved eye care services to numerous people, while bringing awareness of avoidable blindness to many more," said Dr. Hunter Cherwek, medical director of ORBIS International.

The event will run from August 30 until September 10th where advanced training will be offered in ophthalmic care, focusing on pediatric eye diseases, cataract, oculoplastics and medical retina. Surgeries to treat and prevent blindness will be provided free of charge onboard the DC-10 flying hospital.

The Flying Eye Hospital Program will also increase the clinical and surgical abilities of local eye care providers.

Studies show that around 100 children in the Philippines lose their sight every week, making about 680,000 blind Filipinos.

According to the World Health Organization, one-third of the world's 45 million blind and half of the world's 1.5 million blind children live in Southeast Asia. Of the 12 people who become blind every minute in the world, 4 are from Southeast Asia. With one quarter of the global population and one-third of the world's blind, Southeast Asia has a disproportionate burden of blindness. The blind persons in this region are among the poorest in the world and the most marginalized in society.

Since its first flight in 1982, Orbis has trained more than 234,000 ophthalmologists, nurses, biomedical engineers and other health care workers , who in turn have treated an estimated 17.5 million people worldwide. It has conducted 550 programs in 82 countries.

The Orbis mission first landed in the Philippines in 1982, and has been back eight times since then, the last time being in 2003, performing around 200 operations and screening some 300 Filipinos.

FedEx has been a sponsor of ORBIS for more than 20 years delivering the gift of sight to countless individuals throughout the developing world. In 2006, FedEx renewed its global sponsorship with a US $5.5 million commitment, which includes financial, logistical and operational support for ORBIS and its Flying Eye Hospital through 2011.


  1. please help us how can we reach the flying eye hospital or any number that we can contact hope you can help us by the way i am ma romina villanueva from cavite my father needs to undergo eye surgery but we cannot afford the expenses plese help us

  2. Hello good day Im concepcion S. Alejandro my cousin need an eye surgery also how can we reach you, please help him, my email is conie_alejandro @yahoo.com and cel no. 09155150441, please help us thanks and God bless all of you there.

  3. Miss Romina the screening of patients is at St. Luke's Hospital Quezon City from Sept. 1-6, 2010 9AM-5PM. Please go now so that you can get a schedule for operation

  4. hello good day ! pls.let me now what is the number of flight eye that i can reach it on .. I had an astigmatism and my mother had a cataract we cant afford the operation by the way Im miss mabel. thank you !

  5. You can't access the air hospital directly. All screenings are conducted at St. Luke as Robert have said. Just bring the patient there or call St. Luke's number for more details.

  6. I am an artificial eye maker in Manila, may I know how/who to get in contact with at ORBIS as I am interested in offering them my service(discounted).

    My email is Artificialeyemanila@gmail.com

    Thanks in advance!!!