UC Davis Eye Center plays an important role in improving eye health in our own community and throughout the world. In partnership with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as Orbis International and other global relief organizations, we conduct sight-saving surgeries and educate the next generation of eye specialists to help transform lives on a global scale.

Since 2006, our faculty, residents and staff have traveled to China, Vietnam, Peru, Indonesia, Nepal, Mongolia, India, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Zambia, the Philippines and Panama to restore sight and help build a more robust eye-care infrastructure in developing countries. Thanks to their work, the future is brighter for thousands of underprivileged patients, from the very young to the very old. 

The World Health Organization estimates that 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide. This includes 39 million individuals who are blind and 246 million who have low vision. About 90 percent of the world's visually impaired live in developing countries, and 80 percent of all cases of visual impairment can be avoided or cured. These include uncorrected refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism 43 percent), uncorrected cataracts 33 percent and glaucoma two percent.

UC Davis and Orbis partner in telemedicine initiative to treat, prevent blindness

UC Davis, Orbis telemedicine partnership

In May, 2014, UC Davis Health System and Orbis International, a leading global non-governmental organization (NGO) that works to eliminate avoidable blindness, signed an agreement of cooperation that will expand the use of telemedicine technology to help treat and prevent blindness in the developing world. 

The new alliance, which features the expertise of the UC Davis Center for Health and Technology and the UC Davis Eye Center, paves the way for developing new research, education and telehealth collaborations to advance vision science and eye care on a global scale. Read more.