The Rotary Club of Wagga and Calvary Riverina Hospital will help restore sight and prevent blindness in East Timor with the donation of two $50,000 microscopes to aid in eye surgery.
Club president Alan Lean said the donations were a part of a program that has helped 20,000 vision imparied people in the Riverina and overseas since 2005.
"We want to thank Calvary very much indeed for this donation, which will be shipped to Timor-Leste as part of our program 'Darkness to Light'," he said.
"Ron Crouch is helping out with transporting the microscopes, which is a very important part of the project and a major donation and we'll look forward to packaging it and getting them through as soon as possible."
Darkness to Light founder and coordinator, eye surgeon Dr Alok Sharma, said East Timor used to have just one eye surgeon for every 1.2 million people.
"Now doctors from Australia are going there to train the doctors but they also need help in terms of instruments," he said.
"Getting a new ophthalmic eye surgery microscope would cost up to $50,000 new but these ones are in very good condition so we may as well put them to good use."
Dr Sharma said the microscopes would be used in treating conditions such as cataracts and glaucoma.
"Cataracts are one of the biggest causes of treatable blindness, so this will make a big difference in people's lives," he said.
Calvary Riverina Hospital general manager Greg Brylski said the two Zeiss machines had been superseded by newer equipment but were perfectly fine for diagnosing a treating eye conditions.
"They are quite expensive machines and cost-prohibitive to get them in countries like East Timor," he said.
"It's a great opportunity for them to get a piece of equipment like this.
"We're very happy to partner with rotary and support healthcare and it's in line with the Calvary mission of 'being for others'."
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