ISSUE 13, April 2005

Editorial
The Campbells are coming: At speed!
Travel: Warming to Iceland
Royal Masonic Family: The Six Masonic Sons of George III, Part II
Quarterly Communication: Address of the Pro Grand Master and: Report of the Board of General Purposes
The flying eye hospital
Beamish Museum: The million pound project
  Wigan Grand Lodge: The Liverpool rebels
Chelsea Lodge: That's entertainment
Re-enactment: The way we were and: The Russian connection
Community Service: Weathering the storm
Faith and Freemasonry: God and the Craft
Education: Researching Freemasonry on the Internet and: Masonic events
Freemasons Hall: Masons at War
Grand Charity: Report and grant list and: Support for Asian tsunami
Masonic Charities: Reports from the Masonic charities
Obituaries, Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

 Previous Page 
PLEASE USE THE LINKS ABOVE - OR ON THIS LINE - TO MOVE BETWEEN PAGES
 Next Page 




The flying eye hospital

There are many types of charity supported by Masons internationally, nationally and locally, but one of the most unusual is ORBIS, which has its own DC-10 aircraft used as a Flying Eye Hospital for the past 22 years.
    It is because it is so unique that Old Emanuel Lodge No. 5399 decided to give it financial support and to try and publicise the outstanding work carried out by this charity.
    This remarkable aircraft carries out operation on the plane as it travels the world seeking to restore sight to the blind, and going to poor countries where there may be only one ophthalmologist for every two million people.
    According to the World Health Organisation, it is estimated that around 37 million people are blind, but that three out of four need not be given existing skills and technology.
    Since being set up in 1982, ORBIS, whose programmes focus on childhood blindness prevention and treatment, have treated more than 25,000 patients as well as training medical professionals.
    ORBIS was one of the first blindness prevention charities working in developing countries to make childhood blindness prevention and treatment a priority. ORBIS offers a practical solution to this overwhelming need of childhood blindness.
    Leading surgeons from around the world volunteer their time on ORBIS training programmes in developing countries.
    These volunteer surgeons work with local doctors, transferring appropriate sight-saving skills and expertise on board the unique Flying Eye Hospital and incountry programmes. Since 1982, ORBIS has trained more then 63,000 medical professionals, who have gone on to train their colleagues who have in turn restored sight to 17.5 million people.
    The ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital, a converted DC-10-10ER, has circled the globe more than 10 times and has conducted 222 training programmes in 67 countries.
    The Flying Eye Hospital contains a complete ophthalmic operating suite, including a four-bed pre-operation and recovery room, sub-sterile room and laser room, maintaining all the standards of a regular operating suite despite being situated on an aeroplane.
    Pamela Williams-Jones, ORBIS UK executive director, says: “Although the WHO report presents some good news that blindness levels are decreasing, there are still 28 million people in the world who are blind simply because they do not have access to proper eye care facilities, medicine and health education.”
    She adds that ORBIS, through its work as an international non-government development organisation, has completed over 500 training programmes in 76 countries and has established training programme offices in Bangladesh, China, Ethiopia, India and Vietnam.
    Some 70,000 local medical professionals have undergone ORBIS training, but the task is enormous despite technological breakthroughs, with one person a minute going blind.
    The needs of the charity are ongoing, given its considerable training programme and the vast number of eye operations required. More information can be found about ORBIS on www.ukorbis.org for those wishing to donate.


 Previous Page 
PLEASE USE THE LINKS ABOVE - OR ON THIS LINE - TO MOVE BETWEEN PAGES
 Next Page