Orbis UK, which works internationally to prevent and treat avoidable blindness, is announced as charity partner.

Farnborough International has confirmed leading sight-saving organisation Orbis UK as its charity partner for the July 2020 Farnborough International Airshow.

Orbis is an international charity which works to prevent and treat avoidable blindness and visual impairment. Operating the world’s only Flying Eye Hospital on board an MD-10 aircraft, Orbis trains and mentors local eye care teams and educates communities on eye health issues.

See FINN’s tour of the Orbis flying hospital here:

The announcement is one of the first major announcements leading into the 2020 Airshow, which is set to be the UK’s biggest post-Brexit international trade event.

Gareth Rogers, CEO of Farnborough International, said: “Orbis is a highly innovative charity that makes a valuable difference to lives in some of the world’s most hard to reach places. We’re delighted to partner with an organisation that has such strong links to aerospace and that operates in so many countries.

“As the most globally attended Airshow, I hope Farnborough provides Orbis UK with a great opportunity for reaching the world’s aerospace industry at one time and in one place. This partnership brings a meaningful aspect to the Airshow which I’m confident will resonate with our exhibitors and visitors.”

Raising awareness

Nilly Sutton, Head of Philanthropy for Orbis UK, said: “Farnborough International Air Show is one of the largest and most important air shows in the world, and we are thrilled to be chosen as their charity partner for 2020. This partnership provides an unparalleled opportunity to reach new supporters and raise awareness of our sight-saving work. With the number of people affected by avoidable blindness due to triple by 2050, our work has never been more vital.

“The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital has been a beacon of hope ever since it first took to the skies in 1982. Wherever it lands, it raises awareness, creates change and rallies supporters – from local governments, global organisations, philanthropists, to the public – to join the global fight to end avoidable blindness.”

FIA 2020

The 2018 Farnborough International Airshow hosted 1,500 exhibitors representing 48 countries and more than 80,000 visitors passed through the gates from 112 countries. The UK Prime Minister Theresa May opened the show and senior cabinet ministers were joined by some of the world’s leading industry, military and political figures

In 2017, Orbis UK supported the delivery of over 273,000 surgeries and optical treatments and 46,900 training sessions for doctors, nurses, community health workers and others. Seventy-five per cent of visual impairment globally is avoidable, with most of those affected living in developing countries.

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