Local Eyes, Global Vision

Local Eyes, Global Vision

“I’m pretty excited,” says Janine Hobson, Optometrist from YOUNG EYES, of her upcoming volunteer eye-care trip to assist communities on Sumba Island, 400km east of Bali, Indonesia.

Janine travels this May on a week-long journey that will involve lecturing, eye clinics and instruction on ophthalmoscopy and slit-lamp training to local nurses and teams.

“I like this program. Instead of just testing eyes, the aim is for locals to become self-sufficient,” says Janine. “It’s a very sustainable model.”

The Sumba Eye Program, established by Australia’s Dr Mark Ellis in 2007, has goals of building local and regional health teams to care for the population of Nusa Tenggara Timur and has achieved nearly 5,000 consultations, 600 surgeries to restore sight, and the dispensing of nearly 3,500 pairs of glasses.

Although she is looking forward to the opportunity, Janine has her eyes wide open to what she’ll find. “It’s poor,” she says. “Some of the situations will be very sad.”

Janine is honoured to be asked as the first Australian woman to be involved in the program and to share her skills she has developed in Young and is hoping to be involved on an ongoing basis.

Learn more: www.surgeons.org/for-the-public/racs-global-health/nusa-tenggara-timur/sumba-eye-program/

(Royal Australasian College of Surgeons - Sumba Eye Program).