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The Eye Institute is deeply committed not only to developing and implementing ophthalmic knowledge, but also to exporting its expertise to patients and ophthalmologists around the world.

Global blindness is a serious health concern and affects an estimated 185 million people worldwide. The bigger tragedy is that many are needlessly blind. They have a preventable or curable disease that has gone untreated, according to Dr. Brian Leonard, President of ORBIS Canada.

Through its International Outreach program, the Eye Institute touches the lives of many individuals who would not otherwise have access to highly specialized care.

The Eye Institute continues to play an important role in support of eye care in the Third World through its support of ORBIS. Visits to Libya, Ethiopia, Vietnam and Uganda and other countries continue. One of our former residents, Hazel Shillingford-Ricketts, is a key member of the Dominica Project and our ophthalmologists, nurses and technologists assist with the training of staff at the Srikiran Institute in India.

Dr. Karim Damji has established a fellowship program with the Aga Khan University in Nairobi, Kenya. In 2006, the first trainee began his training at the Eye Institute and when he returns home, he will be the first person to specialize in glaucoma in Kenya . Dr. Damji continues to provide support by traveling to Kenya to give additional clinical and surgical training.

Dr. Leonard is an active member of ORBIS, an international network, which helps establish eye surgery centres in developing countries. Having converted a DC-10 aircraft into an ophthalmic operating suite, ORBIS relies on volunteer surgeons, nurses, technicians and pilots to ‘fly’ their knowledge and expertise to treat patients in need.

In each instance, ORBIS works within the existing medical infrastructure to provide quality care and to enhance the skills of practicing ophthalmologists in the both developed and developing countries.

To date, the we have helped restore sight in approximately 15 million people worldwide, in over 86 countries, including:
 

Bangladesh
Botswana
Bulgaria
Cameroon
China
Columbia
Cuba
Ethiopia
East Jerusalem
Honduras
India
Ivory Coast
Jordan
Kenya
Libya
Mongolia
Morocco
Nicaragua
Nigeria
Pakistan
Panama
Peru
Phillipines
Romania
Saudi Arabia
Sudan
Syria
Taiwan
Thailand
Turkey
United Arab Emirates
Vietnam
Zimbabwe