What we do
Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) in Eastern Indonesia is one of the poorest and least developed provinces in Indonesia, ranked at number 31 of 33 provinces on the Human Development Index. Its population experiences some of the highest poverty levels in the country. In Nusa Tenggara Timur there is very limited capacity to undertake general surgery and little or no provision for specialist surgery.
Fellows of the College have provided medical and surgical services at nominated hospitals in NTT through specialist volunteer teams, with funding from the Australian Government throughout 2006 and 2007 and community donations since then. The teams carry out identified health interventions and provide on-the-job training to local medical personnel in assessing and treating common conditions.
The College works in collaboration with the Overseas Specialist Surgical Association of Australia, Optometry Giving Sight and other organisations providing outreach programs in NTT such as the Sumba Foundation.
Between 2006 and August 2016, the Nusa Tenggara Timur Program has:
- delivered over 9,914 consultations and 1,524 operations across six surgical and medical specialties;
- up-skilled local medical staff by providing training for 160 local medical personnel in addition to running two primary trauma courses and basic anaesthesia courses in country for local staff;
- delivered specialist team visits to Nusa Tenggara Timur - nine general surgery visits, 14 ophthalmology and optometry visits, four orthopaedic visits, one ENT visit and one paediatric visit.
Sumba Eye Program
Sumba is an island in Nusa Tenggara Timur. The Sumba Eye Program, established in 2007, is an annual outreach program that provides specialist eye care to the population of West Sumba and training support for Indonesian eye health personnel. Outside of the two main towns, most of Sumba's residents live without easy access to clean water and health services. Malnutrition and infant mortality are enormous challenges. The hospitals in Sumba lack many resources and there are no local ophthalmologists or optometrists.
The Sumba Eye Program collaborates with the Department of Ophthalmology, Hasanuddin University, providing on-the-job training to up-skill resident eye care workers and regional ophthalmologists. Each year, up to 800 patients receive an eye examination, with 90 to 100 receiving sight restoring surgery, improving their function and mobility and enabling them to return productive work in the family and community.
Between 2007 and August 2016, the Sumba Eye Program has provided:
- 10,000 eye examinations to Sumbanese
- 1,500 sight restoring surgical procedures
- 7,000 spectacles to correct refractive error
Eyes for Sumba
Eyes for Sumba is a bilingual book by Iip D. Yahya, celebrating the achievements of the Sumba Eye Program with a foreword from Bapak Irmawin Emir Wisnandar, Indonesian Consul General to Victoria and Tasmania.
The book tells the story of the Sumba Eye Program with striking photographs and many individual personal accounts by the patients, the Australian volunteers, local community health workers and even the local hotel owner, who goes to great lengths to welcome the team back to Sumba each year. Through multiple perspectives and remarkable imagery, the book gives a very rich insight into the need in Sumba, and why the Sumba Eye Program team is so dedicated to its work and the people of Sumba.
Cost: A$35 (including GST and local postage and handling). All proceeds go directly to the life-changing work of the Sumba Eye Program.
Order via the RACS online web store (members only; login required. Non-members will need to create an account).
Our partners and supporters
The Sumba Eye Program is supported by:
- Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
- Sumba Foundation
- Rotary Clubs of Glenferrie and Kew
- Optometry Giving Sight
- The Wilkinson Foundation
- Sunshades Eyewear
- Private donors, the local community and other charitable organisations.
Make an online donation today to support RACS Global Health to provide vital specialist medical education, training and services to countries in need in the Asia-Pacific region.
Donations over $2 are tax-deductible and can be made (use or create a log-in):
- Make an online donation $AUD through the Australian web store
- Make an online donation $NZD through the New Zealand web store
- Print a donation form (PDF 184.55KB) and send a cheque, money order or credit card details.
Donations are administered through the Foundation for Surgery. All costs for administering donations through the Foundation are covered by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons so that 100 per cent of all donations can go where they are needed most.
Program Director (Nusa Tenggara Timur) - Mr Mark Moore FRACS
Program Director (Sumba Eye Program) - Dr Mark Ellis AM FRACS
Hawthorn Eye Clinic
Telephone: +61 3 9819 2882
Optometrist - Mr Peter Stewart
Program Coordinator - Aishah Ishak
Telephone: +61 3 9249 1137