Our Optomterist, Chris Katopodis has volunteered in Sumba annually since 2014.
The Sumba Eye Program established in 2007, is targeted at delivering eye care services to the people of Sumba and building the capacity of the local and regional health staff to provide effective eye care for the community in Nusa Tenggara Timur.
The province of Sumba is one of three main islands in Nusa Tenggara Timur (Eastern Indonesia). Sumba has a very limited capacity to access general surgery, let alone any specialist surgery.
Each year, the eye team travels to Sumba to provide ophthalmology and optometry services to the Sumbanese people. The team consists of optometrists, ophthalmologists and nurses who volunteer their time and skills to improve eye care in Sumba. It performs consultations and operations and distributes spectacles and sunglasses over one-week visits. Approximately 1000 patients are screened on each visit, with 90 to 100 patients receiving sight restoring surgery, improving their function and mobility and enabling them to return to productive work in the family and community. The predominant surgery carried out by the visiting teams is cataract surgery.
You can find out more about the Sumba Volunteer Eye Program on their website: sumbaeyeprogram.org. You can view our photo galleries from the 2014, 2015 and the 2016 programmes below.