Since 1964, Alcon’s Medical Missions program has supported eye care professionals around the world in their work to bring eye care to those in need.
These sight-saving medical missions have a lasting impact on both individuals and communities-at-large. Medical mission teams work side-by-side with local eye care professionals to provide hands-on training, while also helping to increase patient awareness about the need for proper eye care. Through ophthalmic medicines and devices donated by Alcon, medical missions improve and restore vision to patients around the world, and help improve the sustainability of local eye care clinics so they can provide long-term care to more people.
Each year, Alcon contributes products to more than 600 philanthropic medical missions in more than 80 countries.
Orbis Flying Eye Hospital
Alcon partners with many sight-saving organizations, such as Orbis International, whose Flying Eye Hospital aids in the fight against preventable blindness in some of the world’s most under-served areas.
The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital is the world’s only airborne eye health training and surgical center. Alcon donates equipment, supplies, and personnel to support the refurbished DC-10 jet, which is fully equipped to teach and provide eye care wherever it flies.
Within the 48-seat classroom at the front of the plane, doctors gather for lectures, discussions and live broadcasts of surgical procedures being performed within the Flying Eye Hospital operating room. Surgeries can also be broadcast to an additional classroom outside the aircraft and observed by trainees, who can ask questions of the operating surgeons via a two-way audio visual system.
The Flying Eye Hospital treats patients with eye diseases and conditions such as cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, strabismus, and retinopathy of prematurity. Upon departure of the Flying Eye Hospital, videos of the surgeries are left with local institutions for further training. An Orbis ophthalmologist also returns within two months of each program to examine patients and review cases with local physicians.
Learn more about other organizations that we partner with across the globe.
Applying for Medical Missions
Alcon has established product donation programs for health care providers to help patients in need outside the U.S. gain access to quality eye care.
All requests must be submitted using the online process. Please complete the Eligibility Questionnaireto determine if you qualify to apply for product donations. A link to the application will be provided upon completion of the questionnaire.
Typical lead time for the application process is four to six weeks from the date of submission. If you submit an application less than four weeks from your departure date, your request may not be processed in time.
All medical professionals requesting product must provide a letter of invitation from the host country’s Ministry of Health.* A letter of invitation from an in-country hospital or organization will not be accepted unless it is governed by the Ministry of Health. Please allow enough time in the planning process to obtain the letter, as your request will not be processed without it.
To review all requirements before beginning the request process, view our guidelines form (for reference only).
*Please note, the following countries do not require a Ministry of Health letter: Congo, Cuba, India, Myanmar, Sierra Leone and Sudan. Instead, an invitation letter from the in-country organization (i.e. hospital, rotary, etc) is required.