Our founding members Drs. James Muecke, Bob Casson and Henry Newland developed the Sight For All formula by providing education for eye health professionals in partner countries in three ways:
Sight For All is focused on developing sustainable solutions for refractive error, glaucoma, retinal and corneal conditions, childhood blindness and many other diseases.
Sight For All’s sustainable projects are aimed at ensuring our colleagues will in future carry on providing services without our ongoing support. Sight For All’s focus is on development and not on the provision of welfare or crisis support. Our educational projects are designed to increase the capacity of partner institutions to provide specialised ophthalmic support in the community.
Collaboration is the key to Sight For All’s approach. In determining projects, Sight For All works with local partners to ensure there is evidence to support the requested activities. We work together with partners, Visionaries and funders to undertake our key strategies of collaborative research, sustainable education, infrastructure support and eye health awareness.
Sight For All is supported by a team of over 120 eye care professionals who, on average, donate over 10,000 hours annually. This voluntary team, known as Visionaries, travel to our partner countries to teach, mentor and guide colleagues in their own environment, with the overall aim of eliminating blindness in Australia and partner countries.
|Fellowships in Australia||$45,000||(per fellowship)|
|In-Country Fellowships||$35,000||(per fellowship)|
|On-going In-Country Training Workshops||$2,600||(per trip)|
Sight For All has conducted 30 Fellowships in Australia and other countries in the sub-specialty areas of glaucoma, retinal & corneal diseases, children’s eye diseases, retinoblastoma and has trained in low vision and orthoptics.
As an example of the impact of our Fellowships in Australia, Sight For All trained the first children’s eye specialist and established the first children’s eye unit in Myanmar, allowing a 12 times increase in children’s eye surgeries. Dr Aung now treats 20,000 each year and has trained three of his own Fellows. Through the support of the Australian Government, Sight For All was able to establish the second paediatric ophthalmology unit in Myanmar, located at the Mandalay Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital.
“Because of Sight For All, the children of Myanmar now have a greater opportunity to receive treatment early and we can avoid these children living a life of blindness and poverty”
– Dr Than Htun Aung, June 2014
Sight For All has conducted a range of in-country sub-specialty training programs in Cambodia, Lao, Myanmar, Mongolia and Vietnam.
As an example, in 2014 three Vietnamese ophthalmologists from the Vietnam National Institute of Ophthalmology (VNIO) were selected for Sight For All’s Vietnam Neuro-Ophthalmology in-country training Fellowship. The three nominated Fellows, Drs: Vu Huy Quang, Do Quang Ngoc and Le Xuan Hung received twelve teaching trips by different Sight For All Visionaries from Australia and New Zealand over the course of one year. Adelaide based Neuro-Ophthalmologist Professor John Crompton led this Fellowship program in collaboration with VNIOthat has resulted in training of three local Vietnamese Ophthalmologists in the specialist treatment of neuro-ophthalmology. Following the success of this Fellowship Project in Vietnam, the neuro-ophthalmology team has since trained three Fellows in Myanmar and are currently planning the next neuro-ophthalmology Fellowship in Cambodia, to be followed thereafter in Mongolia.
In summarising the impact of the Vietnam Neuro-Ophthalmology Fellowship Project, Professor John Crompton said
“’The three neuro-ophthalmology fellows have shown impressive improvement in their ability to take a proper history, examination, formulate a different diagnosis, investigate appropriately, make a final diagnosis and a management plan”.”– Professor John Crompton
The Fellowship model enables the ophthalmologists trained by Sight For All to eventually become the teachers and train their own fellows.
One example of this is in the sub-speciality area of vitreo retina, where Sight For All’s doctors trained three fellows with the South Australian Institute of Ophthalmology. These three doctors: Mya Aung, San Myint, San Hlaing Min now treat countless patients in this sub-speciality area each year and have since trained their own vitreo retina specialists at the Yangon Eye Hospital, Myanmar.
The result is a significant increase in vitreo retinal surgery over time, as outlined in this table.
In-Country Collaborative Fellowships
Our sustainable teaching methods ensure that countries like Mynmar will have locally based doctors who will be able to treat patients well into the future.
Sight For All train the first children’s eye specialist and establish the first children’s eye unit in Myanmar, allowing a 12 time increase in children’s eye surgeries. So far the $40,000 investment to train Dr Than Tun Aung has impacted over 25,000 children.