The administration of Can Tho City in southern Vietnam and Orbis, an international non-profit organization dedicated to saving sight worldwide, on Wednesday morning jointly organized a sightseeing tour of the Orbis Flying Hospital, an ophthalmic teaching hospital on board an aircraft.
Orbis chose the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho as the destination for its 12th trip to Vietnam.
This is also the first trip taken by Orbis to the country since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in late 2019.
In its three-week sight-saving project which began on May 8 in Can Tho, Orbis’ experts offer training to 52 eye care professionals from various parts of Vietnam, including ophthalmologists, anesthesiologists, biomedical engineers, and nurses.
The eye care professionals have taken part in training activities and developed their skills through an Orbis blended learning model which includes simulation and live surgical training, along with tailored virtual training courses conducted before the aircraft arrived in Vietnam.
The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital was designed as a mini-sized hospital equipped with a full suite of ophthalmic training tools including live operating rooms and a mobile simulation training center, along with other functional rooms such as a pre- and post-operative care room, an audiovisual room, and a patient care and laser room.
The Orbis healthcare experts have also teamed up with two local hospitals in Can Tho to conduct vision screenings for 160 patients as well as perform eye surgeries for 51 of them.
Under this project, Orbis looks to enhance the local eye care professionals’ capabilities to treat eye diseases common among local people such as cataract, strabismus in children, and glaucoma.
Pham Kim Ngoc, country director of Orbis Vietnam, said the operations of the Flying Eye Hospital on board an MD-10 aircraft is sponsored by FedEx, an international freight service provider.
This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Orbis representative office in Hanoi, Ngoc said.
To date, Orbis Vietnam has offered vision screenings and check-ups to almost 5.3 million people, provided eye treatment and glasses for more than one million patients, as well as performed more than 140,000 eye surgeries and offered training to some 32,000 eye care workers in the country.
|Inside an operating room on the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital. Photo: Tuoi Tre
|Participants in Orbis eye care training courses can practice in a simulation training center of the Orbis Eye Flying Hospital. Photo: Tuoi Tre
|A five-year-old girl residing in Soc Trang Province, southern Vietnam, underwent an eyelid surgery performed in the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital. Photo: Tuoi Tre