Although there are still some limitations caused by the pandemic, Dr Mark Ellis AM and the team are planning to go to Sumba early in 2023. In the meantime, Dr Ellis has been busy organising some ongoing training session via ZOOM in conjunction with the University of Hasunuddin (UNHAS) Makassar ophthalmologists to upskill the local Sumba Foundation doctors and the Sumba Eye Program sponsored Eye Care Nurses (ECNs) in Sumba, East Indonesia.
Since COVID has prevented face-to-face teaching, the online training sessions will be aiming to provide some education and instruction in basic eye care for the nurses to be able to provide spectacles corrections. Local doctors also will benefit from the training giving them the opportunity to communicate with our team of doctors to discuss some of the difficult cases that they have currently. The long-term goal is to have at least a monthly teaching session involving all members in mutual education.
Mr Peter Lewis OAM and Mr Peter Stewart OAM, both directors of the program and Optometrists have provided in country training to the nurses and have been the conduit for obtaining spectacles either here in Australia or better through local Indonesian companies.
Dr Ellis hopes to raise enough funds this year so that the Sumba Eye Program can be involved with eye care delivery physically on the Island. With your generous support, the team is hoping to
• Ongoing training and upgrading skills for more local doctors and nurses
• Continuing the trips to Sumba with village screening and surgical visits in collaboration with the PERDAMI of South Sulawesi.
• to give access to eye care to more places on the Sumba Island by setting up more permanent eye clinics.