Orbis Flying Eye Hospital coming to Bangladesh again next year

Orbis Flying Eye Hospital, the world’s only fully accredited ophthalmic teaching hospital on board an MD-10 aircraft, will come to Bangladesh in November next year for the 11th time, said a press release.

The information was revealed at a consultative meeting on “the 11th Flying Eye Hospital Training Program 2024” held at Pan Pacific Sonargaon hotel in the capital on Tuesday.

Prof AHM Enayet Hussain, who is the President of Ophthalmological Society of Bangladesh (OSB), Country Chair of IAPB, SEA Bangladesh Chapter, and the Vice Chancellor of Sylhet Medical University, chaired the meeting attended by heavyweights in the ophthalmology field.

The meeting, organised by Orbis International, a non-profit that operates the Flying Eye Hospital (FEH) training programme to build the capacity of human resources, transfer technologies and innovative training in ophthalmic field, decided to form an advisory committee and an executive committee for hosting the FEH training program.

Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) president professor Ava Hossain, former DGHS director general professor Deen Mohd Noorul Huq, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) vice chancellor professor Md Sharfuddin Ahmed, Bangladesh College of Physicians and Surgeons (BCPS) president professor Mohammod Shahidullah, OSB secretary general professor Dipak Kumar Nag, BSMMU professor Nuzhat Choudhury, and Orbis country director Munir Ahmed, associate directors Lutful Husain and Iqbal Hossain, among others, were among the attendees.

The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital is a state-of-the-art teaching facility equipped with operating room, classroom and recovery room being operated since 1982.

Flying Eye Hospital training programme allows the clinical team and world-leading volunteer faculty (medical experts) to travel the world sharing knowledge and developing the skills of eye care professionals in the communities that need it most. The plane made its 10th visit to Bangladesh in 2017.

Dr Munir, in his introductory speech, said Flying Eye Hospital’s coming to Bangladesh on 10 occasions in its 40 years of operation manifests the importance of human resource development in ophthalmic field.

He appreciated OSB, National Eye Care, National Institute of Ophthalmology& Hospital (NIO&H), Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, Civil Aviation Authority and other government and non-government stakeholders for their support during the previous visits of the Flying Eye Hospital training programme and sought similar support this time too.

He said that this time the focus of the training programme would be women leadership in ophthalmology.

Prof Enayet and other speakers suggested engaging greater number of women in hands-on training and symposiums to be organised under the 11th EFH training programme in keeping with the Orbis policy to focus on women.

Prof Deen Mohd talked highly of the FEH training programme, saying that it has made huge contribution to eye care sector of Bangladesh that has gone through ‘a silent revolution’ over the last decades.

He said the FEH training programme always focuses on advanced clinical training and practical-oriented training.

Prof Ava Hossain, the seniormost ophthalmologist in the country, said her involvement with FEH training programme has immensely helped her acquire advanced knowledge and surgical skill in eye care and excel in the field.

She suggested offering training on advanced techniques of eye surgery in which Bangladeshi doctors are lagging behind others.


Prof Sharfuddin urged the cooperation of all stakeholders from the government and non-government sectors to make the 11th FEH visit a great success.

Prof Shahidullah recommended the inclusion of advance training related to newborns and children with eye problems during the training. He pledged to extend whole-hearted support from BCPS to the FEH activities.

The FEH programme provides advanced hands-on training and technology transfer to enhance the surgical skills of ophthalmology in Bangladesh, focusing on various subspecialties.

Since its first visit in 1985, the FEH imparted training to ophthalmologists, ophthalmic nurses and biomedical technicians in Bangladesh who have helped shape the eye care sector in the country.

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