The nonprofit marked a major milestone by announcing a suite of webinars with Heidelberg Engineering
Orbis International had much to celebrate during the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS) meeting in Vienna, Austria. The charity marked 20 years of its pioneering Cybersight platform, which will be the basis for a new programme with Heidelberg Engineering. Along with global education opportunities, the team effort will also fund new research into retinoblastoma, an ocular cancer that heavily impacts children in low-income countries. Coleman Cawe spoke to Ophthalmology Times Europe about what to expect from the partnership in the year ahead.
Editor's note: The following transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.
Coleman Cawe: I'm Coleman Cawe, Director of Fundraising and Communications, Orbis UK. We're delighted to be announcing our partnership with Heidelberg Engineering. We're partnering together to help eliminate avoidable blindness, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, where over 90% of the cases occur. And in addition to the funding that Heidelberg Engineering are giving to Orbis, it's also about knowledge and education to help eyecare professionals in low and middle income countries to deliver eye care in their local communities and help save sights day after day.
Our partnership with Heidelberg Engineering is twofold. We are delivering a series of webinars which will focus on imaging and the importance of imaging in low- and middle-income countries in particular, to help diagnose and treat eye conditions. We're also working on a piece of research together on retinoblastoma, a rare retinal cancer that affects 9,000 children, again, predominantly in low- and middle-income countries. And hopefully with that research, we're looking to see how we can improve outcomes, because they are still very poor. It's about 40% survival rate after 3 years. So, we're looking at how we can improve the outcomes around the access to eye care for earlier diagnosis and treatments for children.
In 2024, we'll be delivering our series of webinars. We will have one webinar each quarter during the year, which we'll be promoting through Cybersight, Orbis's telemedicine platform, which celebrates its 20th anniversary currently. So we're very proud of that achievement. We'll also be publicising our research as well. So that will be published in early 2024. We look forward to sharing the findings from that research to help improve outcomes for retinoblastoma.