Methodology and Baseline Findings of the Sumba Eye Program

Mark Francis Ellis

Mark Francis Ellis
Hawthorn Eye Clinic Director Sumba Eye Program. Email:
Online First: July 25, 2018 | Cite this Article
Ellis, M. 2018. Methodology and Baseline Findings of the Sumba Eye Program. Bali Journal of Ophthalmology 2(1). DOI:10.15562/bjo.v2i1.19


The Sumba Eye Program (SEP) is an outreach clinical eye service that delivers specialist eye services to the population in Sumba, Nusa Tenggara Timur, and training support for Indonesian eye health personnel. We report the baseline clinical findings from one visit to West Sumba, provide an overview of the methodology of our program and present initial progress towards establishing a sustainable local eye care service.

Data was collected for patients presenting for examination during a five-day clinic from 10-14 June 2013. Demographic information, presenting and best corrected distance and near visual acuity and refractive correction were recorded.  As part of management, corrective spectacles and therapeutics were prescribed and cataract procedures were performed.  

765 patients between the ages of 2 and 97 yearswere assessed by optometrists.  The most prevalent eye condition diagnosed was uncorrected refractive error, with 692 patients (90%) managed with refractive correction. 96 (12%) were referred for ophthalmology consultation, of which 87 underwent surgery, predominantly for cataract extraction and intra-ocular lens insertion.  

The Sumba Eye Program is contributing to the reduction of avoidable vision loss in the West Sumba population, however, ongoing training and recruitment of national health workers is essential to further build the capacity of the local service and assist with sustaining the outreach eye program, with the eventual goal of local provision of care at all levels.

Key Words

Vision Impairment, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Indonesia, Sumba, Eye care

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