A visionary volunteer

Linking up with nurses overseas brings mutual benefits, says Maggie Middleton

Linking up with nurses overseas brings mutual benefits, says Maggie Middleton.

Abstract

I volunteer with Orbis, a non-profit organisation that prevents and treats avoidable blindness in developing countries. Common and treatable causes of blindness include glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, cataract, trachoma (a chlamydia infection) and strabismus.

Around 500 voluntary ophthalmic nurses, surgeons, anaesthetists and orthoptists from the UK and other countries share their expertise by providing technical assistance, clinical training, community education, development of health institutions and advice on healthcare reform.  They do this through demonstrations, lectures and supervision of local practitioners, teaching colleagues in local hospitals to carry on the work once the volunteers have gone.

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This article was published in Nursing Standard, 21 November 2012, volume 27, issue 12.

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