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Hillingdon student joins medical team onboard Orbis Flying Eye Hospital

Published Tuesday 1st of July 2014 10:00:37 AM

ACS Hillingdon International School student, Mia LaPine, is one of four lucky students travelling to Pampanga, Philippines, this summer to observe the world famous Orbis Flying Eye Hospital in action.

The sight-saving charity internship is part of a journalism initiative sponsored by ACS International Schools Foundation and Orbis, a global eye care charity that improves access to eye treatment in developing countries.

There are over 39 million people in the world who are blind, with eighty per cent resulting from treatable or avoidable conditions, most live in developing countries where access to eye care is limited. Since 1982, Orbis' medical volunteers have donated their annual leave to work with local teams to provide eye care to disadvantaged communities and alleviate suffering whilst sharing their knowledge and expertise.

Mia will be joined on the trip by three other ACS International School students, Gabriela Kopernicka from ACS Egham, and Paula Adamopoulos and Lovisa Terling from ACS Cobham. All four students will join the team of ophthalmologists aboard a DC-10 aircraft that has been specially converted into a mobile teaching hospital, complete with an operating facility and lecture theatre.

On-board students will observe live surgery procedures and interview volunteers, trainees, patients and their families, experiencing first-hand the difference Orbis makes to people's lives.

The students were awarded their places on the trip following a rigorous application process, involving a written application and an interview with a panel of six representatives from ACS International Schools, ACS International Schools Foundation and Orbis.

ACS Hillingdon student, Mia LaPine, commented:

'I believe that organisations such as ORBIS provide valuable resources to so many. Vision impairments that are left untreated can be detrimental to a person's life so by treating and educating the sufferers ORBIS is providing a positive impact on their futures. I'm most looking forward to meeting the people and want to ask them lots of questions about their understanding of such diseases and their experiences.'

Florence Branchu, Orbis Corporate Partnerships Manager commented:

'Orbis is delighted to be supported by the ACS International Schools again this year, bringing our partnership well into its second decade and over £300,000 worth of sight-saving support. What's great about this relationship is that ACS have not only substantially funded our work, but Orbis has also been able to showcase the impact of their fantastic support direct to their students.

'Through this annual internship we are able to educate the lucky students and their peers about the issue of preventable blindness in developing countries. By doing so, we hope to inspire the next generation of medics and Orbis ambassadors.'
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