A new flying eye hospital has launched in London with the help of a Qatar-based initiative that aims to treat children’s eye problems.
The hospital is being run by the Orbis foundation, which provides treatment for millions of kids in developing countries.
It consists of an aircraft that has been remodeled from the inside to serve various medical and teaching purposes.
The plane now includes operating rooms, clinics, a lecture hall, emergency rooms, an observation room for children with eye diseases or at the risk of blindness, and technology that can transmit live surgeries around the world.
The flying hospital travels to various countries, teaching eye doctors and surgeons the necessary procedures and skill sets needed to continue caring for people with eye diseases and other issues in their respective countries.
Orbis has so far cycled through three planes, and this latest aircraft was donated by FedEx.
‘Qatar Creating Vision’ initiative
In 2012, one of Orbis’ flying hospitals flew into Qatar, in hopes of forming a partnership for future hospitals.
A few years later, in November 2015, the Qatar Development Fund contributed $8 million to start the Qatar Creating Vision initiative.
As part of Orbis’ tie-up with the project, the hospital will travel to India and Bangladesh to help provide some 5.5 million eye screenings and treatments to children there.
The initiative is still in its early stages of launch and will be carried over the next four years.
Further down the line, Qatari ophthalmologists will also be part of Orbis’ group of international doctors and volunteers.
Note: This article has been corrected to reflect that Qatar funded the initiative to help children in India and Bangladesh, not the hospital itself.