“We do the operation and then one day after that they can see, and this is amazing for them.”
Dr Marcelino Correia,
First Timorese Ophthalmologist
Dr Andreas Kreis - Atauro
Dr Bill Glasson - Oecussi
Dr Kevin Vandeleur FRACS
Dr Ross Littlewood
Dr Phil House
Dr Paul McCartney
Dr Alok Sharma
Dr John Kearney
Dr Mark Ellis
Volunteer Team Leaders
Dr Nitin Verma, the founder of the East Timor Eye Program, never dreamt that his first visit to Dili in 2000 would lead to a long term commitment to the country and its people. He has since been awarded the Order of Australia, the Order of Timor-Leste and Honorary Timorese Citizenship in recognition of his outstanding work.
It all began when Hobart-based Dr Verma saw that Timor Leste was struggling to cope with the violence inflicted during the run-up to independence and he took a team to Dili to treat traumatic eye injuries, cataracts and other diseases.
“We used to sleep in the ward when we first started and if you had more money, you could sleep in a container with air-conditioning. When you look back at all that has happened, you know it was worth it.’’
Dr Verma is also the Honorary Consul to the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste in Tasmania.
Dr Marcelino began his specialist training in Ophthalmology at the University of Tasmania, where in 2008, he completed a Graduate Diploma in International Ophthalmology. This was followed by a Masters in International Ophthalmology in 2009 at the University of Sydney. To hone his skills in small incision cataract surgery, Dr Marcelino underwent an intensive training program at the Tilganga Eye Centre in Nepal.
“I decided to become an ophthalmologist because I want to help our people, to help prevent them from becoming blind, we do the operation and then one day after that they can see, and this is amazing for them.”
Passionate to be an agent of change and build up the level of eye care services offered, Dr Marcelino is based at the National Eye Centre in Dili. He works closely with a team of ophthalmologists including Dr Manoj Sharma, the East Timor Eye Program’s international consultant ophthalmologist.
Dr Marcelino’s achievements represent a significant milestone in the country’s progress to self-sufficiency in the provision of eye care by 2015 and eradicating preventable blindness by 2025.
Dr Marcelino Correia, First Timorese Ophthalmologist
Dr Manoj Sharma, International Consultant Opthlamologist
Dr Manoj Sharma completed his medical training in the Ukraine in 1993, his residency in Ophthalmology in Nepal in 1999 and a Fellowship in cornea and Ocular surface diseases in the United States in 2002. He has previously worked as an Ophthalmologist and corneal surgeon in Nepal, Cambodia and Tibet. Prior to taking up the position of International Consultant Ophthalmologist for the East Timor Eye Program, Dr Sharma was an Additional Professor of Ophthalmology at the B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences in Dharan, Nepal.
As International Consultant Ophthalmologist with the East Timor Eye Program, Dr Sharma is responsible for teaching basic medical and surgical ophthalmology skills to the postgraduate trainees and provides service delivery at the National Eye Centre and in the districts, through outreach.