The Operation Restore Vision (ORV) team is getting ready to leave to Rakai, Uganda on June 6, 2019. This will be the first ophthalmology team to ever visit that site, and the first team to ever perform eye surgery in that hospital. Preparations for this mission have been extensive. The team shipped a huge container of equipment from New York to Africa that included 3 surgical microscopes, 2 cataract phaco machines, 2 slit lamps, 3 indirect ophthalmoscopes, 2 keratometers, A and B scan ultrasounds, and several hundred disposable materials for eye surgery. The team is composed of 2 cataract surgeons from the USA, one cataract surgeon from India, 1 retina specialist from the USA, an optometrist from the USA, and highly skilled nursing and anesthesia personnel.
Operation Restore Vision (ORV) is a chapter of Operation International (OI), founded in 2009, dedicated to restoring vision and preventing blindness in underdeveloped countries. Besides restoring vision to the poor at no cost to the host country, OI-ORV also prides itself on its ability to teach and train local medical professionals to carry on their work.
The OI-ORV team is world-class and is comprised of the most highly skilled ophthalmologists, surgeons, clinical researchers, and eye care professionals. The team also includes specialists in anesthesia and expeditionary medicine. OI-ORV's goal is to positively impact the lives of impoverished people, including children, in underserved countries, who are suffering from eye conditions that need treatment and/or surgery not available in their country.
OI-ORV is unique in that the team is comprised of Ophthalmological surgical sub-specialties not seen on most eye care teams. This allows the team to provide multi sub-specialty eye surgery to those that would otherwise have no hope for vision restoration. These multi sub-specialty eye surgeries are taught to the local ophthalmologists so that they can continue to restore the vision of others suffering from similar eye issues.
Some of the achievements of OI-ORV have included performing the first corneal transplant in Marrakech and helping start the Foundation for Morocco's first eye and tissue bank. In Nepal and India, the team hosted national ophthalmologist conferences, and in Dominican Republic, identified a genetic mutation that leads to blindness, that with proper screening and surveillance, can prevent blindness.