Penarth eye doctor returns from international sight-saving mission
12:05pm Friday 16th August 2013 in Penarth news
A PENARTH doctor has returned home from a special agent-style international mission with the Flying Eye Hospital.
Dr Isabel Aguilera recently swapped her daily commute to the University Hospital of Wales, where she works as a paediatric anaesthetist, for the hustle and bustle of Panama City.
The Penarth Marina resident is a medical volunteer for international sight saving charity ORBIS.
The Flying Eye Hospital is a plane which hosts a fully equipped operating theatre and laser suite, with dedicated teaching facilities on-board.
Isabel used her annual leave to take part in this trip where she taught local doctors vital skills for treating ophthalmic conditions that are common to the area and have robbed the community of a brighter future.
She said: “I very much enjoy volunteering with ORBIS and Panama was an amazing experience. The work the charity undertakes is important because we not only treat patients, but also teach the local medical teams by understanding the problems they face and share with them new techniques which are readily available and used here.”
Isabel has been involved with the charity for almost eight years, having previously travelled to Peru and San Salvador on similar missions.
She added: “By providing treatment to some of the poorest people in the world, we improve their prospects and enable them to re-engage with their community and by working with local doctors, we ensure they are better equipped to continue managing eye conditions in the future. I’m proud to be a part of a charity that can do this.”
It is estimated that 39 million people in the world are blind but 80 per cent could be treated or cured. Ninety per cent of those people are in developing countries where eye care facilities are often limited.
Through their missions and training, ORBIS has helped to provide 23 million treatments in 92 countries.
See www.orbis.org.uk for more.