Explore the history of Orbis partnerships in Qatar

The power of partnerships in Qatar have led to dignitaries, leaders and the community at large to join forces to fight avoidable blindness and change the way the world sees.

The Story Begins In 2012....

Bangladeshi paediatric patient Afioza Yazim gets an eye examination

2012

The Flying Eye Hospital lands in Doha, Qatar for the first time. 250 visitors are welcomed on-board to raise awareness of our sight saving work.

2013

Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex, in her role as global ambassador for IAPB, visits the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital programme in India. She witnesses patients undergoing surgery and meets medical volunteers as well as the local trainees.

The Countess then travels to Qatar on-board the Flying Eye Hospital. She meets members of the local philanthropic community and dignitaries with whom she discusses the global issues around preventable blindness.

Smiling doctors and nurses in green scrubs at the Sajida Foundation in Bangladesh

2014

On the occasion of World Sight Day, Hamad International Airport supports Orbis' awareness campaign by displaying visuals on the arrival and departure screens. With more than two million passengers travelling through the hub every month, the video aims to encourage the airport’s passengers to discover more about our sight saving work.

2015

HRH the Countess of Wessex returns to Qatar to attend follow-up meetings with dignitaries including the Prime Minister and the Assistant Minister for International Cooperation.

Qatar's interest in the global issues around preventable blindness results in the creation of the Qatar Creating Vison initiative. Funded by the Qatar Fund for Development and implemented by Orbis, the initiative is announced at the Embassy of the State of Qatar in the UK.

The Qatar Creating Vision's launch is celebrated by HRH the Countess of Wessex at Buckingham Palace, alongside dignitaries from Qatar and the UK.

Qatar Charity launches a fundraising campaign to enable the community at large to align with the country's vision of a world where no-one is needlessly blind.

Qatar Airways becomes the official partner airline of Orbis UK. In addition to complimentary flights, Qatar Airways Group has been providing Orbis with free landing, parking and ground handling services whenever we land in Qatar.

2016

Through the Qatar Creating Vision initiative a brand new and far reaching community and school eye screening programme across India and Bangladesh.

Orbis long-standing medical volunteer, orthoptist, Louise Garnham, joins us in Qatar to celebrate World Sight Day and bring to life the issues affecting those struggling with preventable blinding conditions within India and Bangladesh. To celebrate the recently launched Qatar Creating Vision initiative, Magrabi optical shops provide free eye tests, Lulu hypermarkets distributes more than 50,000 brochures about the initiative, and schools & businesses host blindfolded challenges to raise awareness.

2017

The new Flying Eye Hospital lands in Doha to celebrate all our partners in Qatar. 400 guests are welcomed onboard including the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ambassadors from the UK, USA, Bangladesh, India, Canada, France and Vietnam.

Orbis hosts a workshop onboard the FEH led by medical volunteer and paediatric ophthalmologist, Dr Donny Suh. The workshop is delivered to 30 key stakeholders from the ophthalmic medical community in Qatar thanks to the coordination of the International Health Relations Department from the Qatar Ministry of Public Health. The afternoon session is led by fellow Orbis volunteer, Dr Daniel Neely. The FEH’s advanced broadcasting system and Orbis’s telemedicine platform, Cybersight, enables more than 300 medical professionals from 94 locations and 49 countries, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, to join the webinar.

Orbis participates in the “Stars of Science” TV programme (initiated by Qatar Foundation). It showcases the region’s aspiring science and technology entrepreneurs. One of the competing candidates, Hassina, aimed to develop an innovative product related to the eye test. Taking advantage of having a pool of experts in the country, Hassina receives the team's guidance and support.

HRH the Countess of Wessex travels to Bangladesh to witness first-hand the work funded by the Qatar Fund for Development since HRH’s last visit in 2015. HRH is given the opportunity to remove the bandages of a young patient and meets four-year old Fatima while she is recovering from her cataract operations. HRH meets again with nurse Mammoth Adhikary, who she met in 2009. Mammoth was involved in the very first Orbis FEH programme in Bangladesh back in 1985.

The Royal visit concludes in Doha where HRH meets dignitaries and ministers. A roundtable with the Minister of Public Health leads to the announcement that Eye Health will be for the first time a forum of the World Innovation Summit for Health 2018.

2018

The Qatar Fund for Development and Orbis expand the Qatar Creating Vision initiative into South East Bangladesh, to provide services to children and adults struggling with sight loss within the Rohingya population and local host communities.

Dr Robert Walters presents the achievements of the work funded by the Qatar Fund for Development and implemented by Orbis to HH Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Amir of Qatar.

Dr. Mohammed Al Hajri (Director of Emergency Preparedness and Response Department at Qatar Ministry of Public Health) and Dr. Faisal Naqadan (Ophthalmic Consultant at Hamad Medical Corporation) visits Orbis' programmes in India. Over 5 days the team travels from Mumbai to Pune and Madurai, meeting 750 Children across 3 schools, finding out more about the work of our partner hospitals and community health workers.

On the occasion of the first "Doha Healthcare Week", the Flying Eye Hospital returns to Qatar and hosts 500 guests from over 50 different countries, 80 organisations, and seven embassies.

Nurses and Ophthalmoligists from Qatar join us once again on-board the FEH for a series of simulation workshops. A live surgical demonstration is also broadcasted from Rumaillah Hospital, led by Dr Fahad Al Qahtani.

Orbis contributes to the WISH report entitled "Bright Future: A New Vision for Eye Health", and participates in an interactive session focusing on the use of innovation to overcome barriers to access to healthcare in remote areas.

The Orbis stand in the 'Innovation Hub' is inspired by the Flying Eye Hospital and attracks a range of dignitaries, government and diplomatic representatives. Orbis is honoured to present its work to Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, as well as Her Royal Highness Princess Muna Al Hussein, Mother of King Abdullah II of Jordan, The First Lady of Nigeria and various Ministries of Health.

A similar booth is hosted at Hamad International Airport to raise awaress and encourage the airport’s passengers to discover more about Orbis and the Qatar Creating Vision initiative.

To conclude a successful World Innovation Summit for Health, Orbis and Qatar Charity sign an agreement, under the leadership of the Qatar Fund for Development, to expand our partnership further.

2019

HRH the Countess of Wessex is joined by His Excellency Sheikh Thani Al Thani, on behalf of the Amir of the State of Qatar, to celebrate the Qatar Fund for Development and the Qatar Creating Vision's achievements at St James Palace.

Dr Faisal Naqadan (Ophthalmic Consultant at Hamad Medical Corporation) visits another Orbis programme, this time onboard the Flying Eye Hospital in Vietnam. Faisal witnesses first hand the teaching and training of medical professionals to tackle complex eye conditions, both onboard the aircraft and at the local hospital.

The Qatar Fund for Development announces at the Doha Forum that our joint eye health initiative Qatar Creating Vision, will expand across Africa and Asia in 2020.

2020

Two Qatar University students who were hand-picked by the Qatar Fund for Development, travel to Chennai, India, to learn first-hand how to assist with eye screenings in schools and understand the coordination required between the hospital facilities and the school.

The Qatar Creating Vision initiative, launched in 2016, aimed to provide 5.5 million eye tests and treatments within four years. However, thanks to the hard work of our amazing partners we’ve been able to deliver one million MORE screenings, glasses, surgeries and treatments than we hoped. This means even more children have been given the gift of clear sight and have been supported to continue their education.

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