Forty-six Ophthalmological Society of the West Indies (OSWI) delegates participated in a simulation training project sponsored by Orbis International with generous support from Alcon. The participants honed their skills using cutting-edge ophthalmic surgical simulation training technology on the Flying Eye Hospital, which was at Fort Worth Alliance Airport in Texas, and additional hands-on training in the Alcon Experience Center (AEC), a state-of-the-art training facility on Alcon's nearby campus. Over a two-week period, Orbis’s clinical staff and Volunteer Faculty (medical experts) along with Alcon bioengineers and trainers shared their knowledge with the participating ophthalmologists, ophthalmology residents, nurses, and biomedical engineers from several countries throughout the Caribbean, helping them build skills to fight avoidable blindness in their communities.

Learning surgical skills for cataract removal was a major focus of the training. Cataracts remain the leading cause of blindness worldwide despite being treatable with an operation that can take as little as ten to fifteen minutes. Participants also learned to treat other conditions that threaten vision, including glaucoma, the most common cause of irreversible blindness. A select group of these participants, who were already highly experienced ophthalmologists, also participated in a train-the-trainer course, which deepened their ability to train the next generation of eye care professionals. This helps ensure ongoing continuity of and local access to eye care in their home countries.

Participants came from Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and Antigua and were very grateful for this initiative. One remarked, “What I've gained is exceptional. I'm looking forward to being a part of more training of this nature.” Another stated, “It was a wonderful learning experience that definitely helped me improve my surgical skills.”

The Ophthalmological Society of the West Indies is indeed grateful to all its partners especially Orbis and Alcon for affording opportunities like these to its delegates in building capacity in the Caribbean. Orbis International has a long history of working in the Caribbean since its inception in 1982.


Shannon Hoo Fatt

Lay Secretariat

Ophthalmological Society of the West Indies

Whatsapp: (868) 461 3335

Tel: (868) 662-1226


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