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.”