Patients and family sit in the waiting room at Shandong Hospital, China


China is estimated to have the largest number of blind people in the world – around 8.2 million. Yet most eye care professionals, particularly surgically skilled ophthalmologists, are disproportionately located and practising in urban areas, while a majority of the blind live in rural areas.

Success in China

Since establishing an office in Beijing in 1999, we’ve helped create quality, affordable and accessible eye care for rural communities, particularly in western China’s remote ethnic minority areas.

We are recognised as a leading blindness prevention organisation in China and are considered by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness and other non-governmental organisations as one of most capable, effective and professional sight-saving organisations in China.

In fact, in 2020 we delivered:

Orbis is also recognised by the Chinese Ministry of Health as a key partner in eye care. This collaboration has led to the largest study of blindness in China's rural areas, a major initiative across six provinces and 60 hospitals to train eye care teams according to international standards, and a full assessment of ophthalmic capacity at China's 2,800 county hospitals.

What We're Doing Next

We’re working to find sustainable solutions to address the lack of quality, affordable and accessible eye care services for the rural poor. We’re building rural eye care networks, developing partner ophthalmic skills and addressing the issue of childhood blindness throughout China.

Additionally, we’re collaborating with the Chinese Ministry of Health to address diabetic eye disease and retinopathy of prematurity. We’re also leading a collaborative effort in the much needed area of residency training in China and Mongolia, working with the International Council of Ophthalmology and the Chinese Council of Ophthalmology.

Thanks to your support we're making great ground in the fight against avoidable blindness in China. But there's still a long way to go to reach the 13 million visually impaired children who lack the treatment they need to have the vision they deserve.


  • Chinese Ministry of Health
  • International Association for the Prevention of Blindness
  • International Council of Ophthalmology
  • Chinese Council of Ophthalmology
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