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HomeminewsEast Timor Makes History

East Timor Makes History

For the first time in its history, East Timor has established an Association for all eye care workers. A constitution for the ‘Ophthalmic Association of Timor Leste’ (OATL), was drafted by more than 30 eye care workers at Dili Hospital on 19 January.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column]

Micheal Knipe, a member of the Provision optometry team funded by Optometry Giving Sight, which has directed significant funds to East Timor Eye Program since 2007, was at the meeting and said, “this
is history in action.”

He said the group’s intention to include all eye care workers in the association differs from the models found in most western countries.

Once the Association’s constitution was agreed, office bearers were elected and Nuno Da Costa, an eye care nurse based in Baucau, was voted in as AOTL’s inaugural president. Then, there were official photographs and speeches by representatives from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Fred Hollows Foundation New Zealand and the East Timor Ministry for Health.

“This is another important step along the way in making eye care in East Timor self-sufficient and sustainable. It’s great to see so many people actively engaging in discussion about eye care in East Timor and ways to improve standards and provide advocacy,” said Mr. Knipe.