Sophie to visit India eye hospital
Wednesday 11th September 2013, 11:21AM BST.
The Countess of Wessex is to make her first official visit to India next week to champion the work of sight-saving organisation Orbis.
Sophie will tour Orbis’s flying eye hospital in the eastern city of Kolkata and watch patients undergoing surgery during an eight-day trip which will end in Qatar.
The hospital is based in a refurbished DC-10 jet aircraft and the Countess will meet local doctors, nurses and technicians working alongside Orbis’s international medical team to exchange knowledge and improve skills.
Sophie is patron of the charity Vision 2020, an umbrella organisation tacking preventable blindness whose membership features leading bodies including Orbis.
During her visit to India, which begins next Tuesday, she will travel to an Orbis partner hospital where she will meet eye patients awaiting surgery and those who have undergone procedures.
She will also attend a medical training symposium and give a speech.
Sophie’s final stop will take her to Qatar for a meeting with Orbis donors who support the organisation’s childhood blindness initiatives in countries like India and Bangladesh.