Orbis Flying Eye Hospital launches virtual tour

Orbis Flying Eye Hospital launches virtual tour

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Blindness prevention charity Orbis is giving people the opportunity to venture inside their Flying Eye Hospital via a 360-degree virtual reality tour, voiced by Oscar-nominated actor Djimon Hounsou.

During the tour, viewers can explore the aircraft, including the operating theatre and patient recovery room as well as the on-board classroom. Viewers can get a glimpse into how the plane helps Orbis save sight, and enables a global volunteer team of ophthalmic experts to train local medical professionals.

The first Orbis Flying Eye Hospital took to the skies in 1982. Over the years it has visited 78 countries and helped Orbis to reach hundreds of communities around the world: training thousands of doctors and nurses and providing life-transforming treatments.

In June 2016, Orbis unveiled its brand new ‘Third Generation’ Flying Eye Hospital. More than six years in the making, the MD-10 is a state-of-the-art upgraded teaching and training centre, with many custom designed elements. It replaced the previous aircraft – a DC-10 – which has retired from service.

Acting as tour guide is award-winning actor Djimon Hounsou. Known for his roles in blockbusters such as Gladiator, Blood Diamond and Amistad, Hounsou has been nominated for numerous awards for his work, including the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes. He was announced as Orbis’s Continental Ambassador for Africa in June 2016.

“What I appreciate most is that Orbis has a direct impact on people’s lives – impact not only felt by those successfully operated on and given the gift of sight, but also the trained practitioners, empowered with the skills to continue serving their communities.  This is a cause worth advocating for and just the type of organisation that the world needs to support,” says Hounsou.

The virtual tour has kindly been created pro-bono for Orbis by Charles Mansfield-Osborne from virtual tour and VR photography company StreetVisit.

There are 285 million people in the world who are blind and visually impaired, and 80 per cent of them don’t need to be. The majority of these people live in developing countries, where access to quality eye care is scarce. Orbis transforms lives by working to eliminate avoidable blindness: through long-term programmes in countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America as well as through its Flying Eye Hospital.

The Flying Eye Hospital is set to visit London in March 2017. Viewers who take the virtual tour can also sign-up to be the first to receive information about the MD-10’s first visit to the UK.

Visit the Orbis website by clicking here to take the tour.