ORBIS International


Our Mission

ORBIS International is a nonprofit organization that works in developing countries to save sight. ORBIS prevents and treats blindness through hands-on training, public health education, improved access to quality eye care, advocacy and partnerships with local health care organizations.

About Us

The gift of sight is priceless, life-changing and at the heart of what we do. ORBIS works in some of the world’s most under-served areas to deliver sight by strengthening local eye care institutions, training staff, introducing ophthalmic technology, advocating for supportive policies and increasing public awareness about eye health. Since 1982, ORBIS has carried out programs in 92 countries, enhanced the skills of more than 325,000 eye care professionals and provided treatment to more than 23.3 million blind and visually impaired people.


Partnerships essential to program success

As part of ORBIS’s broad-based capacity building program, our organization works with carefully selected local partners on projects typically lasting at least three years. These partners include hospitals, health centers, universities and training centers, local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), eye banks and government health departments.


ORBIS long-term capacity building projects are taking place in Bangladesh, Cameroon, China,Ethiopia, India, Jamaica, Nepal, Peru, Vietnam,South Africa and Zambia. Additional projects are underway in many other countries around the globe. All projects are geared toward making a lasting impact and allowing activities to continue long after ORBIS assistance has ended.


Donors provide time, energy and expertise, funding and gifts in kind

To provide such a vast array of capacity building programs over an ever-increasing terrain, ORBIS relies on an active pool of roughly 500 volunteer faculty members to provide clinical and technical expertise at local hospitals as well as onboard it'sFlying Eye Hospital — a one-of-a-kind ophthalmic surgical and training center located within a DC-10 aircraft. ORBIS uses volunteer pilots from FedEx and United Airlines to transport the Flying EyeHospital from one destination to the next.

As a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, ORBIS relies on financial and gift-in-kind donations from individuals, corporations and foundations to help fund its urgently needed sight-saving programs.


Our Tools

       Flying Eye Hospital

At the heart of ORBIS’s capacity building efforts is the Flying Eye Hospital, the world’s only airborne eye health training and surgical center. The Flying Eye Hospital has conducted eye health treatment and training programs in 78 countries since 1982.

       Long-term Programs

ORBIS country offices in Bangladesh, China, Ethiopia, India, Vietnam and South Africa are staffed by local eye health professionals experienced in capacity building and global eye health care. Country offices oversee training in clinical and institutional development.

       Training: Hospital-based Programs and Fellowships

In developing countries where ORBIS doesn't have comprehensive year-round capacity building programs, ORBIS offers one-to-three week workshops in eye health care and institutional development.

       Cyber-Sight® (ORBIS Telemedicine)

Through Cyber-Sight®, volunteer ophthalmologists, often leaders in global eye health care, provide educational support and advice through the Internet. A global eye health care curriculum and global eye health care resources are also available online.