The Sumba Eye Program (SEP) was established in 2007 and its main activity was to deliver eye care services to the large number of patients with avoidable blindness and low vision. It builds on RACS work since 2006 to provide medical and surgical services at nominated hospitals in Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) in Indonesia support . The program services are provided in the form of intensive outreach clinics, which were delivered annually at the main hospital, Rumah Sakit Umum Daerah (RSUD) Waikabubak.
Over time, the SEP has increased its focus on teaching and training of Indonesian health personnel in an effort to help establish a sustainable local infrastructure for eye care in Sumba. In the second phase of the program (2012 – 2016), ophthalmologists and ophthalmology trainees from Hasanuddin University joined the SEP clinics for training and collaboration.
The current stage of the SEP (2017-2020) focuses on outreach clinical eye services that deliver specialist ophthalmology, optometry and eye health services to the population in Sumba, and training support for Indonesian eye health personnel through bi-annual visits from clinical specialist from the Sumba Foundation.
Eye health is a big issues in Indonesia. The United Nations Development Program classifies Indonesia as a country of Medium Human Development, ranking 108 of 186 countries on the Human Development Index (HDI) in 2013. Nusa Tengarra Timor (NTT) is the southernmost province of Indonesia and is a low resource province, with very few trained medical specialists in the province and limited local access to specialist eye care.
In Sumba, an island in eastern Indonesia in the province of East Nusa Tenggara, there is no local access to ophthalmology, optometry, or specialist eye care services. West Sumba is served by three hospitals. The main hospital in the island’s second largest town, Waikabubak, in the Sumba Barat regency currently employs six general practitioners, one surgeon, one intern, one paediatrician and two residents. Surgical services are limited to general surgery caesarean procedures; there is no local provision for specialist surgery.
Objective 1: Improve access to quality ophthalmology and eye care services (by providing essential ophthalmology, optometry, and eye health services to the community in Sumba, through short term specialist visits)
Objective 2: Develop the capacity of the eye-health workforce (by strengthening the capacity of community health workers and ophthalmologist and optometrist from Indonesia to provide effective eye care to the population, including refraction services, identification of eye diseases and management of eye problems)
Some of the key project activities and outputs:
- Visiting Medical Teams (VMTs) e.g. clinical activities, consultations, operations
- Outreach Clinics e.g. patient screening, referrals, spectacle dispensing, on-the-job training, and education
- Continuing professional development (CPD) e.g. mentoring, short courses, conferences, practical experience
- Program management activities e.g. program monitoring and evaluation, reporting and communications, budget management, quality assurance, risk management
- RACS Foundation for Surgery
- Sales of the bilingual book Eyes for Sumba 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.
In partnership with:
- The Sumba Foundation
- Hasanuddin University
- Nusa Tenggara Timur and Sumba Provincial Health Offices