According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 39 million people in the world are estimated to be blind, and about 90% of the world’s visually impaired live in developing countries. Furthermore, the World Health Organization estimates that 80% of all visual impairment can be avoided or cured with proper access to medicine.
ORBIS International was established to address these disturbing statistics. In 1982, its unique aircraft, the Flying Eye Hospital, took flight. For the first time, a fully-equipped, state-of-the-art teaching hospital was installed inside an airplane. It was now possible to bring sight-saving skills to the developing world.
Last year marked the 30th anniversary of FedEx and ORBIS’s collaboration. The company has committed its unparalleled networks, dedicated employees, and vast aviation expertise to assist ORBIS in delivering the gift of sight to countless individuals throughout the developing world.
In 2011, as part of the Delivering Sight Worldwide global sponsorship of ORBIS, FedEx pledged USD$5.5 million over five years to support the ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital and extend the FedEx Fellows Program—an opportunity for local, talented doctors to receive the continuing medical education needed to address leading causes of avoidable blindness within their country and region.
Through the Delivering Sight Worldwide program, FedEx has delivered:
- Sponsored three Flying Eye Hospital programs in Trujillo, Peru; DaNang, Vietnam; and Iloilo, Philippines that trained about 130 doctors and 620 other medical professionals, including nurses and biomedical technicians.
- Awards and sponsors a fellowship for one promising ophthalmologist from each FedEx-sponsored Flying Eye Hospital Program to study at some of the world’s leading eye institute, including Cambodia, the Dominican Republic, India, Kenya, Peru, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
- Over the past year, from July 2011-March 2012, ORBIS has trained about 9,810 medical professionals, including the 750 trained through FedEx Flying Eye Hospital Programs.