Photo: Michael Amendolia

Photo: Michael Amendolia

Blindness is a leading cause of disability in Indonesia. Based on the results of a recent national survey it's estimated that more than 2 million Indonesians are blinded by cataract.


The blindness rate in Indonesia is the highest in South East Asia, with an estimated 10% of school age children affected by refractive error. The main reasons for the backlog of cases needing treatment or surgery are low access to surgical services, lack of knowledge, high cost of surgery, and limited eye health staff and services outside of main urban areas.

Achievements 2013

  • Supported 1,800 surgeries performed over seven days at an outreach led by Dr Sanduk Ruit of Nepal’s Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology
  • Trained four surgeons and 10 clinic support staff and nurses at Tilganga
  • Supplied $9,639 in medical equipment
  • Developed a plan with the Indonesian Government to provide essential eye care services in West Nusa Tenggara Province where an estimated 70,000 people are blind.

We achieved these results working together with our partners.

About the program

The Foundation is working with the Government of Indonesia to support its efforts to tackle avoidable blindness.

By building the capacity of local staff, providing much needed medical equipment, and raising the public’s awareness of treatable eye health issues, The Foundation aims to put in place effective and long-lasting solutions.

To achieve this, The Foundation is helping build the capacity of local eye health services by training clinical and university staff, and providing eye care equipment to government eye clinics.

Just as importantly, The Foundation supports the Government to ensure people living with treatable eye conditions are aware of the options available to them and have access to quality eye health services. The Foundation supports community education activities for primary health staff, volunteers and village health workers, as well as community leaders, religious leaders and village chiefs. The aim is to collectively raise awareness about blindness treatment and prevention, and encourage people to seek treatment.

The program aims to:

  • Advocate for more local resources, planning and coordination on eye care
  • Build ophthalmologist and eye nurse skills to screen and treat common eye diseases, and
  • Provide the necessary equipment to targeted provincial and district hospitals.

Facts and figures

General health
Population 232.5 million
Urban population 44.3%
Life expectancy 71.5 years
Infant mortality rate (per 1,000 births) 31
Literacy rate 92%
Population living on $1.25 a day 29.4%
Population which is undernourished 16%
Number of doctors (per 10,000 people) 1

Source:  UNDP Human Development Report 2010

What we can do

Help keep Fred’s dream alive.

4 out of 5 people who are blind in the developing world don't need to be. Routine treatment costing as little as $25 can restore sight and hope.