Flight to Fight Blindness: The Third-Generation Orbis Flying Eye Hospital Makes Its Inaugural Visit to Singapore

FedEx-Sponsored Program Aims To Reinforce Awareness For Blindness Prevention Initiatives Across The World


SINGAPORE, December 9, 2016 – Orbis International, in cooperation with longtime global aviation sponsor FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp, (NYSE: FDX) and the world’s largest express transportation company, today announced the inaugural visit of the third- generation Flying Eye Hospital (FEH) to Singapore. This marks the first time FedEx has brought the new FEH to the country, following its maiden program in Shenyang, China and a tour in Hong Kong to drive awareness for Orbis’ sight-saving initiatives to fight blindness around the world.

It took six years and hundreds of aircraft experts to retrofit the MD-10 into the world’s only mobile ophthalmic teaching hospital It includes a 46-seat classroom, state-of-the-art AV/IT room, patient care and laser treatment room, operating room, sterilization room and a pre-and post-operative care room. The hospital suite comprises nine customized modules similar to commercial cargo containers. On a technical basis alone, this pioneering module approach is expected to save money, time and resources during the medical programs Orbis will conduct through the FEH globally.

The aircraft also features 3D technology and live broadcast capabilities that will help Orbis and its volunteer faculty to train more doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals—enabling them to restore sight to more individuals afflicted with eye impairments in developing countries across the world.

“We are proud to be able to support the Orbis mission for over 30 years,” said Khoo Seng Thiam, chairman, Orbis Singapore and managing director, FedEx Express Singapore. “At FedEx we operate not only in advanced markets like Singapore but also in developing countries where the improvement of eye care delivery services is critical. We are proud to support inclusive programs like the Orbis FEH that help address the social needs of local communities all over the world where our team members live and work.”

“The Flying Eye Hospital plays a vital role in Orbis’s mission to bring the world together to fight blindness. Equal parts teacher, envoy and advocate, this powerful tool energizes change as we implement key long-term global initiatives,” said Paul Forrest, chief development officer, Orbis International. “Our launch of this new third-generation Flying Eye Hospital not only marks a new chapter in our shared sight-saving journey, but also brings us a significant step closer to our dream of eliminating avoidable blindness forever.”

FedEx has been supporting Orbis since 1982, enabling the Delivering Sight Worldwide Initiative by providing resources and logistics expertise to the FEH programs that have so far been carried out in 92 countries worldwide. In addition to the 2011 donation and subsequent retrofitting of the MD-10 aircraft that now serves as the third-generation FEH, FedEx also announced in June this year that it was renewing a five-year, US$5.375 million commitment to Orbis that includes support for the following:

  • Aircraft Services

FedEx provides various aviation services such as maintenance support for the MD-10, flight simulator training for FedEx volunteer pilots, and transportation of medical supplies to Orbis’ training programs worldwide.

  • FedEx Fellowship

FedEx supports the skills exchange approach of Orbis by sponsoring fellowships for promising local ophthalmologists to study in leading global eye institutes. The sponsorship began in 2006 and has since awarded fellowships to doctors from the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Peru, Kenya, the Dominican Republic, China, and Ethiopia.

About FedEx Express

FedEx Express is the world’s largest express transportation company, providing fast and reliable delivery to more than 220 countries and territories. FedEx Express uses a global air-and-ground network to ensure speed delivery of time-sensitive shipments, by a definite time and date with a money-back guarantee[1].

About FedEx Corp.

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $58 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 400,000 team members to remain “absolutely, positively” focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. To learn more about how FedEx connects people and possibilities around the world, please visit about.fedex.com.[1].

About Orbis

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. By building long-term capabilities, Orbis helps its partner institutions take action to reach a state where they can provide, on their own, quality eye care services that are affordable, accessible, and sustainable. To learn more about Orbis, please visit www.orbis.org.

NOTE TO EDITORS: FedEx Express press releases are available on the World Wide Web at http://news.fedex.com.

PHOTO CREDITS: Fly Pixar Imaging

For further information, please contact:

Arlyn Samaniego of FedEx Express

Phone: +65 6390 5574

Email: arlyn.samaniego@fedex.com

Amy Tan of Orbis Singapore

Phone: +65 6479.5875

Email: amy.tan@orbis.org

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[1] Subject to relevant terms and conditions