Orbis CEO and President Derek Hodkey

Interview with Derek Hodkey, Orbis International CEO

Our partners Qatar Fund for Development, have launched their latest newsletter, which features an interview with our very own Orbis International President and CEO, Derek Hodkey! You can read the interview and check out the full newsletter, in both English and Arabic, below!

Orbis Plays a Prominent Role in Providing Relief and Charitable Aid. What Is Orbis’s Philosophy and Vision in Carrying Out This Role?

Orbis is an international non-profit that has been transforming lives through the prevention and treatment of avoidable blindness for nearly four decades. With our network of partners, we mentor train and inspire entire local eye care teams across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean – from health workers in rural clinics to eye surgeons in urban centres – so they can work together to save and restore vision in their communities. By collaborating with hospitals, universities, governments, and ministries of health, we look to create sustainable and affordable eye care services so that no one has to face a life of unnecessary blindness.

Local eye doctors receive training from Orbis Volunteer Faculty during a Flying Eye Hospital program in Mongolia

What Was the Aim Behind Establishing Qatar Creating Vision? and Why Is It Important?

In July 2016, Orbis and the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) officially launched the Qatar Creating Vision (QCV) initiative. At the heart of the programme was the drive to identify children with vision loss through timely screening, to prevent blindness and help break the cycle of emotional trauma, social exclusion and economic hardship that untreated eye conditions can bring.

How Did Qatar Creating Vision Impact Orbis’s Mission, Vision and Achievements?

Thanks to QFFD’s support, Orbis was able to develop pioneering and innovative programmes to fight childhood blindness. As a result, we delivered 6.7 million eye tests and treatments in four years. In India, Orbis had the opportunity to pilot the Refractive Error Amongst Children (REACH) model, the largest child eye health programme of its kind supported by bespoke software – REACHSoft.

In Bangladesh, a strong referral network was established at community level starting with vision points in schools and community locations, supported by a vast network of community health workers who refer those who may need eye treatments to specialist trained staff in vision centres and hospitals. Another major achievement was the establishment of the first Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) centre outside Dhaka - this condition affects premature babies.

In South East Bangladesh, a robust model for eye care response in a humanitarian setting was developed. Throughout the life of the project, the level of demand in the refugee community has remained higher than we anticipated, with nearly 40% of all adults screened requiring treatment – significantly higher than in other projects.

You Can Find Links to the Full Newsletters Below

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