Mr Larry Benjamin

Larry Benjamin is a recently retired ophthalmologist and a trustee of Orbis UK, alongside chairing our programme committee.

He first became involved with Orbis in 2004 with a volunteer assignment to the Philippines. Since then he has given his time to 16 projects (check), training ophthalmologists in Zambia, China, Myanmar, Pakistan and Ghana to name a few, with both our Flying Eye Hospital and on independent hospital-based programmes.

In 2016, Larry won an award for his dedication to improving global eye health at the Charity Staff and Volunteer Awards and was a finalist in the Humanitarian Awards category of the 2017 International Bond Development Awards.

Larry’s work has been particularly instrumental in strengthening the paediatric eye care system in Zambia, in particular. Zambia is a country of approximately 14 million people, around 45% of which are children under the age of 16. Children in Zambia are four times more likely to suffer from blindness than children living in developed countries. Larry trained one of Zambia’s first paediatric ophthalmologists, Dr Mboni, working with him to evolve his skills, enabling him to treat complicated child eye conditions.

Dr Mboni works at the Orbis-supported Kitwe Eye Annex, the only dedicated child eye care unit in Zambia. It has become a centre of excellence, even attracting patients from neighbouring countries. None of which would have been possible without Larry’s dedication.

Mr Larry Benjamin

If peo­ple in devel­op­ing coun­tries are unable to seek help to have their cataract removed or receive a sim­ple pair of glass­es, adults and chil­dren can be plunged into pover­ty. We’re very lucky that we have the NHS to help us when we expe­ri­ence difficulties.

Larry's special interests include cataract and the management of diabetic retinopathy, he has served on the ophthalmic committee of the Royal Society of Medicine and has published several books on the topic of ophthalmology. He is a fantastic story teller, who brings to life the issue of avoidable blindness and can make you laugh and cry in the same sentence.

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