Qatar Airways welcomed Orbis Flying Eye Hospital to Doha with an official reception at Doha International Airport (DIA).
The reception was attended by British ambassador Ajay Sharma, Bangladesh ambassador Ashud Ahmed, Qatar Fund for Development executive director Misfir Hamad al-Shahwani and other dignitaries and special guests.
A welcome speech was delivered by Hamad International Airport vice-president (commercial and marketing) Abdulaziz al-Mass.
The aircraft, a medical training facility housed within a MD-10 aircraft, will be on display until March 29 as part of a tour to raise awareness about preventable blindness and its impact on developing countries.
The plane, which touched down in London and Ireland over the last few weeks, will offer students, medical professionals and partners a “unique experience” - the opportunity to explore the ‘hospital with wings’.
While in Doha, the Flying Eye Hospital will be promoting Qatar Creating Vision, an eye health initiative that brings together three charities and 19 hospitals with the aim of providing 5.5mn child eye tests and treatments to children in India and Bangladesh before 2020.
Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar al-Baker said, “Qatar Airways strongly believes in giving back to the global community. When you have the power to contribute towards making a difference, it is your obligation to do so. As an airline that connects communities and people around the world, we are delighted to have supported Orbis since 2012.
Khalifa bin Jassim al-Kuwari, director-general of Qatar Fund for Development, noted: “Half of childhood vision loss can be prevented or cured, so there is much that we can do to improve access to eye care, which everyone deserves.”
Dr Robert Walters, Orbis special envoy to the Middle East, thanked al-Baker, the State of Qatar and the Qatar Fund for Development.
As a charity, Orbis trains eye care teams across the world by providing medical professionals with enhanced skills, enabling them to treat people struggling with treatable blindness within their community.
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