We are pleased to announce that Oculofacial Plastic Surgeon Chris Thiagarajah, M.D. has returned from Jakarta, Indonesia after participating in the ORBIS International Flying Eye Hospital Project. The mission brings subspecialty training to Indonesian eye care professionals to help address the country’s dire eye health needs.
The ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital program works to provide subspecialty Ophthalmology training for local Indonesian eye physicians, surgeons, nurses and other eye care professionals. As an eye surgeon specializing in Oculofacial Plastic Surgery, Dr. Thiagarajah was selected to provide skills transfer to more than 200 eye care professionals from local hospitals, using hands-on surgical training, live surgical demonstrations, lectures and workshops in Ocular Oncology and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery.
“While I find it rewarding using my expertise in cosmetic eye plastic surgery to help patients achieve the aesthetic results they desire, having the opportunity to utilize those skills to address and prevent blindness, in a part of the world in such desperate need, has been both fulfilling and gratifying ”, relayed Dr. Thiagarajah upon his return from Jakarta.
Blindness in Indonesia
According to the World Health Organization, South-East Asia has a disproportionately high prevalence of blindness. Of the twelve people going blind in the world every minute, four are from South- East Asia. The Indonesian Ministry of Health calculates that blindness in Indonesia affects approximately 1.3 million people – the highest among Asian countries – and studies have suggested that 3-8% of the population have some form of impaired vision.