This was a wonderful trip that inspired us even more into the medical field. When we signed up, we really had no-eye-dea how awesome this experience would be!"by Annabelle Vincent Year 12 student at Doha College
Last week a few of our 6th Form soon-to-be medics had a unique opportunity to visit the Flying Eye Hospital as it touched down in Qatar thanks to Orbis and Qatar Creating Vision.
The Flying Eye Hospital is a one-of-a-kind plane which is bringing the world together to fight blindness. There are about 285 million visually impaired people worldwide and 90% of these people live in developing countries.
The aircraft is a fully equipped hospital capable of performing a range of eye operations. It is also a teaching and learning environment where the Orbis experts train local eye care teams in their own country using 3D & Virtual Reality technology in an innovative hands-on approach.
We caught up with Annabelle Vincent of Year 12 who hopes to study medicine as she explained her reactions to being on-board.
"The Flying Eye Hospital visit, in a word, was eye-opening (pun intended)! Stepping on the plane, with our blue covered feet, we were met by the amazing and dedicated team that fly internationally to help the sight-impaired.
We kicked off the visit with a 30-minute lecture on Amblyopia, or more commonly termed 'Lazy Eye', in the 46-seat classroom with a screen that can project what goes on in the operating theatre. The doctor, a paediatric ophthalmologist, kept us engaged in his lesson which was peppered with interesting facts and anecdotes of his own experiences.
Afterwards, we toured the plane, awed by the state-of-the-art medical facility.
Just behind the 'classroom' was a lab filled with cutting edge equipment and the operating theatre with a screen that projected 3D images. We watched a cataract surgery with special glasses, as the lens in the eye was removed and replaced.
At the back of the plane was the pre and post operation space, where three patients at a time can prepare or recover from the surgery. At the time there were no patients. However we did meet somebody else!
The head nurse told us that when patients leave the hospital they get a bear, with an eyepatch just like them, as a souvenir of their trip.
Before ending with a happy group picture, we went in groups into the cramped cockpit, taking in turns to sit in the pilot's seat.
Altogether, this was a wonderful trip that inspired us even more into the medical field. When we signed up, we really had no-eye-dea how awesome this experience would be!"
The Doha College 6th Form team and our dedicated careers advisor regularly arrange visits and external speakers to support our 6th Formers as they choose their potential careers and finalise their university or further educational choices.
For more information visit the Orbis website at http://www.orbis.org