China is estimated to have 6.6 million blind people, with 70 percent to 80 percent living in the generally underserved rural areas. Of the approximately 24,000 eye doctors in China, 70 percent to 80 percent work in urban hospitals. Since establishing a permanent office in
China in 1999, ORBIS has been working hard to find sustainable solutions to the lack of quality, affordable and accessible eye care services for the rural poor, particularly in western
China’s remote ethnic minority areas. We are doing this by raising public awareness of eye health and building the capacity of our local partners.
When Guang Wen Duan's wife passed away, Duan
was left as the sole caregiver of their mentally
ill son. With cataracts, though, he could no long-
er make a living. Because of the cost-recovery
and income-generating mechanisms that ORBIS
helped put in place at a nearby hospital, Duan
received free cataract surgery. He returned to
work and resumed caring for his son.
ORBIS programs in
China focus on:
In 2007, ORBIS focused on building capacity in the remote western provinces of Guizhou, Hainan and Yunnan, as well as Chongqing City. We also launched four new childhood blindness projects in Sichuan, Inner Mongolia, Yunnan and Guangdong.
ORBIS also helped Hainan, Sichuan and Heilongjiang provinces develop their VISION 2020 strategic plans for blindness prevention.
In 2008, through 16 ORBIS projects:
- More than 6,500 doctors and other eye care staff received training
- Over 1 million people received eye examinations
- Over 480,000 children and adults received non-surgical ophthalmic medical treatment or eyeglasses
- More than 60,600 eye surgeries were performed
Achievements to date
By the end of 2007, our achievements and key activities in
219 programs implemented in 25 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions. These include 35
Hospital programs, 130 hospital-based programs (including eight telemedicine programs), 34 training workshops at the
Center, and 20 training workshops.
An ORBIS doctor examines a young
patient before several trainees in
The 219 programs cover a full spectrum of ophthalmologic specialties, including surgery, nursing, biomedical engineering, optometry, eye bank management, hospital management and community health training.
- Eye care services were established, upgraded or strengthened in 71 hospitals at county, prefecture and provincial levels throughout
- Through our capacity-building projects, we explored ways to provide affordable eye care services for the rural poor while ensuring sustainability. This research will be used in the development of new projects.
- More than 130,900 Chinese patients received surgery from ORBIS programs.
More than 655,600 Chinese patients were treated in local out-patient departments following ORBIS programs.
|Dr Li Yun Guo, left, heads the Xiang-
yun County Hospital ophthalmology
department. Dr. Guo has benefitted
from a variety of ORBIS training initia-
tives, including Flying Eye Hospital
and hospital-based programs and a
three-month fellowship at Yunnan
Red Cross Hospital.
- More than 535,400 people were examined at ORBIS screening programs.
- More than 15,700 Chinese eye doctors had participated in ORBIS training programs.
- More than 16,300 Chinese nurses and community health workers had participated in ORBIS training programs.
- ORBIS was recognized as the leading blindness prevention organization in
China and is considered by the International Association to Prevent
Blindness and other nongovernmental organizations as the most capable, effective and professional blindness prevention organization in
- ORBIS received a high degree of recognition from the Chinese government at national, provincial and county levels.
Haixi Prefecture People’s Hospital in Qinghai Province • Baotou Eye Hospital in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region • The Fourth Affiliated Hospital of Hebei Medical University in Hebei Province • Guangzhou Children’s Hospital in Guangdong Province • Dehong Prefecture Hospital in Yunnan Province • Lijiang Charity Eye Hospital in Yunnan Province • Shangri-la Prefecture Hospital in Yunnan Province • Gejiu Maternity and Children’s Hospital in Yunnan Province • Yuxi Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital in Yunnan Province • Zhaotong Prefecture Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Yunnan Province • Red Cross Hospital of Yunnan Province • Liupanshui Shui Kuang Group Hospital in Guizhou Province • Hezhou Rongshun Hospital in Guangxi Autonomous Region • Nanning Red Cross Hospital in Guangxi Autonomous Region • Guangyuan Northern Sichuan Eye Hospital in Sichuan • People’s Hospital of Sichuan Province • Shenyang He Eye Hospital in Liaoning Province.
*Blindness is defined as visual acuity of less than 3/60 or a corresponding visual field loss to less than 10 degrees in the better eye with best possible correction.
** Low vision is defined as visual acuity of less than 6/18 but equal to or better than 3/60, or a corresponding visual field loss to less than 20 degrees in the better eye with best possible correction.