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February 05, 2011

Bali Eye Centre Wins Extra Australian Funding

DENPASAR
The Australia Bali Memorial Eye Centre has been given an extra A$3 million (Rp26.4 billion) to help ensure it reaches its full capacity as a world-class facility.
The additional funding was announced by Australia’s ambassador to Indonesia, Greg Moriarty, on a visit to Bali in January.
Since opening in 2007, the centre has performed 1,000 cataract surgical procedures every year, preventing blindness and restoring the eyesight of thousands of Balinese people.
At the centre’s opening Australia committed A$7 million (Rp61 billion) to build the eye centre, provide equipment, train staff, operate mobile clinics and give scholarships to health officials.
The additional funding will bring the total amount of Australian support to A$10 million (Rp88 billion).
Announcing the new funding, Moriarty said: “Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in Bali, with more than 50,000 people affected by this treatable condition. Australia is proud to be working with Indonesia to reduce blindness in Bali.”
During his visit Moriarty also held discussions with Governor I Made Mangku Pastika, the regent of Badung and other senior officials, as well as with and key Indonesian and Australian figures involved in business, arts and culture.
He met 33 Australian teachers taking part in the Endeavour Language Teacher Fellowships Programme, an Australian government-funded Indonesian language programme that provides Australian language teachers with the opportunity to improve their language and cultural skills through a three-week study programme in Indonesia.
“The expanding commercial linkages as well as associations through education, art and culture are critical elements in the forging of closer ties between Indonesia and Australia,” Moriarty said.
“I am delighted to note that the continued growth across these areas can only enhance the two countries’ shared future and continued close cooperation.”

The Australia Bali Memorial Eye Centre is an eye clinic and day surgery centre in Indonesia. It opened on October 1, 2007.


The construction of the Centre was part of the Australian Government’s Bali Recovery Package after the 2002 Bali bombings, and was achieved after a submission to the Australian Government from The John Fawcett Foundation. The $7 million project was commissioned by AusAID, with a design team which included experts from Australia and Indonesia. The Centre is owned and managed by the Bali Provincial Department of Health and operated in partnership with the John Fawcett Foundation and its Indonesian arm, the Yayasan Kemanusiaan Indonesia.


Staff from the Lions Eye Institute in Perth, Western Australia, were instrumental in setting up the Centre. The Institute’s director of nursing, Elizabeth Zambotti, commissioned the facility after playing a key role in its development, while Institute director Professor Ian Constable oversaw training of Indonesian ophthalmologists by LEI staff.

In the first two days 160 Indonesian patients were seen and a dozen cataract operations were performed by Indonesian ophthalmologists.

The Centre has a training facility with digital imaging teaching capacity to enhance the surgical skills of young Indonesian and Australian graduate ophthalmologists, providing for academic exchange between Indonesian and Australian ophthalmologists and trainees. Theatres provide digital imaging from microscopic views of eye surgeries for capture, replay and analysis. The wet lab also has video imaging facilities for teaching.

It is planned to develop specialized clinics in the Centre for glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy which are on the increase in the Balinese community. The Centre also has optometry facilities with basic manufacturing and assembling capacity to cater for the almost 70 per cent of poor patients who benefit from remedial glasses.

In the event of a natural disaster in Bali, the 2,500 sq m two-story building also has the potential to become a first-level trauma centre, as it has two theatres/three-table surgical capacity and high quality sterilization, x-ray and ultrasound facilities.

Two mobile eye surgical units are attached to the Centre and travel to remote areas in Bali to operate on the poor in their villages. Each mobile clinic team with one ophthalmic surgeon, four nurses and two drivers can check over 18,000 people with eye problems in a year and perform around 1,200 cataract operations.

The construction of the Centre was part of the Australian Government s Bali Recovery Package after the 2002 Bali bombings, and was achieved after a submission to the Australian Government from The John Fawcett Foundation. The 7 million project was commissioned by AusAID, with a design team which included experts from Australia and Indonesia. The Centre is owned and managed by the Bali Provincial Department of Health and operated in partnership with the John Fawcett Foundation and its Indonesian arm, the Yayasan Kemanusiaan Indonesia.
Staff from the Lions Eye Institute in Perth, Western Australia, were instrumental in setting up the Centre. The Institute s director of nursing, Elizabeth Zambotti, commissioned the facility after playing a key role in its development, while Institute director Professor Ian Constable oversaw training of Indonesian ophthalmologists by LEI staff.
In the first two days 160 Indonesian patients were seen and a dozen cataract operations were performed by Indonesian ophthalmologists.


TRANSCRIPT
REMARKS
H.E. DR. SUSILO BAMBANG YUDHOYONO PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA
AT THE
OPENING CEREMONY OF
THE AUSTRALIA-BALI MEMORIAL EYE CENTRE
DENPASAR, 27 JULY 2007



Bismillahirrahmanirrahim,
Om Swastiastu,


Honorable Prime Minister of Australia John Howard and Mrs. Janette Howard,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am delighted to be here with my good friend Prime Minister John Howard on this beautiful day to inaugurate the Australia-Bali Memorial Eye Centre.

This Eye Centre is a fitting tribute in memory of our brothers and sisters who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on 12 October 2002.

Today, the terrorists who are responsible for such monstrous crimes have been captured, tried and put behind bars. They have utterly failed to advance their misguided cause of hatred.

Indeed, what prevails today, here in Bali and throughout Indonesia, is the magnificent force of the human spirit: the spirit of hope, the spirit of love, the spirit of humanity, and the spirit of friendship.

Everyday since that fateful day of 12 October 2002, we have found a million ways to honor and celebrate that spirit of goodness. This wonderful Eye Memorial that we are opening today is a towering example of that. This Eye Centre is also a monument of the enduring and growing friendship between the Governments and people of Indonesia and Australia.

When Prime Minister John Howard and I declared the Comprehensive Partnership between our countries 2 years ago in Canberra, we understood very clearly that for it to be strong, this partnership needed to be built at the grassroots level, it has to bring real benefits, and it has to be relevant to the daily lives of our people. It is therefore only fitting that this Eye Memorial is built in the island of Bali.

It is here in Bali that tens of thousands of Australians come to work, study, rest, surf, and play each year. Many Australians have genuine affinity and attachment to Bali. And the Balinese have always been happy to welcome Australians as part of their community.

It has escaped media attention that there are many Australian citizens who are involved in charitable work for Indonesia.

This is why I know that the hard work John Fawcett does to develop this Eye Memorial comes from his heart, from his love for the island and the people he befriended when he first came here in the 1980’s.

I speak on behalf of the people in Bali in expressing their gratitude to the John Fawcett Foundation and Yayasan Kemanusiaan Indonesia, and of course to the Government of Australia, for making this Eye Centre a reality. It is my hope that the Community Eye Treatment Centre, despite its modest beginnings, will be one of the most advanced in Indonesia.

No doubt, you will have plenty of visitors here: as Governor Dewa Beratha said just now, over 50,000 Balinese are said to be affected by blindness, especially cataract blindness. If they cannot find you, or if they are too far away or too poor to travel, I am pleased to learn that the center will have 2 mobile outreach clinics to find those with eye problems.

I trust that this Eye Center will work closely with the Bali Provincial Department of Health to achieve our common objectives to help our people. The fact that Eye center and the Department of Health are physically situated side-by-side in this block will make it very easy for them to coordinate and cooperate.

This project fits perfectly into the utmost priority which my Government attaches to the health sector. The health sector is in the top 5 sectors receiving the largest portion of national budget, and this year we are nominally spending more on the health sector than at any other time in Indonesia’s history.

Through our combined efforts, we can all push Bali into the forefront of eradication of cataract blindness, and put Bali on the fast track to reaching the goals of Vision 2020, the worldwide goal set by the World Health Organization of eliminating avoidable blindness in the next 13 years.

This Australia Bali Eye Center therefore is not a statue; it is a working and living memorial.

I wish you all the best in your noble work, and I thank you for reminding us all that life is beautiful, and worth seeing.




I thank you.

*****


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