The Sumba Eye Program

The Sumba Eye Program

The miracle of sight


“Every time we travel to Sumba we experience life changing events that demonstrate just how much of a difference the miracle of sight can make to a person, their family and ultimately their community and future lives." - optometrist Peter Lewis.

For the past five years, Optometry Giving Sight has contributed funding towards The Sumba Eye Program in delivering essential eye care services to the people of Sumba.

The province of Sumba is one of three main islands inNusa Tenggara Timur (Eastern Indonesia) and is home to approximately 685,000 inhabitants. Due to its isolation the Sumbanese generally still follow the ways of their ancestors with language, religion and traditional lifestyle largely preserved. Unfortunately, this isolation has also restricted the development of adequate health systems like primary eye care.

Importantly, the program builds the capacity of the local and regional health staff to provide effective eye care for the community by implementing a teaching program for prospective Eye Care Nurses.

The team behind the program visit Sumba annually and perform essential eye services with consultations, operations and in distribute spectacles and sunglasses over their visits. Approximately 750 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 Sumba Eye Program team is led by optometrists Peter Lewis and Peter Stewart and ophthalmic surgeon Mark Ellis. 

Peter Lewis and Jack Lele

Jack Lele, a 50 year old patient from Hobowawe District, has never had glasses. “I remember not being able to see at school”, said Jack. Diagnosed -5.00 myopic, Peter prescribed Jack’s first spectacles. “I can see clearly and I am very happy now”, continued Jack.

So far The Sumba Eye Program been able to provide for:

6,401 Sumbanese have received a consultation.

801 sight restoring surgical procedures have been performed.

5,089 spectacles have been dispensed.

You can help this great program to achieve more exciting milestones through your regular donations in support of Optometry Giving Sight and also help to provide essential eye care services to thousands of communities around the world.

Peter Lewis and patient Jack Lele, Hobowawe District.


Sumba Eye Program Video


Photos courtesy, Peter Lewis and The Sumba Eye Program