About Us

​Orbis is a leading global non-governmental organization that transforms lives through the prevention and treatment of blindness. With our network of partners we mentor, train and inspire local teams to fight blindness in their local communities.

Turning an Idea Into Reality

The concept of Orbis was born in the late 1960s in the mind of Dr. David Paton, a renowned US ophthalmologist! Dr. Paton was a faculty member of The Wilmer Eye Institute at John Hopkins who, after extended experiences abroad, recognized the lack of eye care and ophthalmic teaching in low income countries where blindness was widespread.

With help from various supporters, a donated plane from United Airlines, and a grant from USAID, a DC-8 plane was converted into the world’s first fully functional teaching eye hospital.

The first Flying Eye Hospital was officially christened in Houston, Texas at the Ellington Air Force Base and took off on its first project to Panama in May 1982.

Orbis in India

The first Flying Eye Hospital visit to India was in 1988 when the DC-8 landed in Hyderabad and Delhi to conduct training programs. Following multiple Flying Eye Hospital programs, Orbis identified India as a priority country and established an office in Delhi in 2000 to begin one of its several country programs. Ever since, Orbis has established the world’s largest network of Children’s Eye Centers: 33 centers across 17 states in India.

Over the years, Orbis India has worked in the areas of corneal blindness and eye banking, childhood blindness, quality assurance, refractive error and diabetic retinopathy.



Passionate about helping the world see? So are we!

Join us
Close the modal
Sorry there was an error.
Try again