Some general observations on Ophthalmology in the NI:
De Vereeniging tot verbetering van het lot der blinden in NI was founded in 1906. It actively pursued the aim to fight all kinds of eye diseases by encouraging preventive, especially hygienic measures. In 1890 almost 10,000 civilian eye patients had bene treated, ranking the 5th in frequency among the categories of diseases. Because of the poor hygienic circumstances many inflammations of the conjunctiva were seen and needed surgical intervention. Many children were victims of trachoma*, a chronic inflammation leading to blindness, if untreated. In some parts of the archipelago, trachoma was found in more than 20 % of the population. The northern part of Java, the Moluccas and Atjeh were the regions that were most strongly affected. Besides trachoma, cataract*, avitaminose and venereal diseases caused a lot of blindness. The travelling ophthalmologists J.Tijssen and J.G van Manen tried to relieve the burden of eye problems with the population. Van Tijssen, Westhoff and P.Wijn started also eye clinics for permanent patient care. By 1940, about 25 eye specialists could be found in the entire archipelago and eleven eye clinics were operating, nine of them on Java and two on Sumatra.
The General William Booth Ooglijders Gasthuis at Semarang.
One of the eye hospitals on Java was the Generaal William Booth Ooglijders Gasthuis at Semarang. It was initiated by the Salvation Army in 1908. On average there were 80 inpatients. The number of outpatient consultations in 1910 was 31,217 with 900 new patients. The hospital was granted subsidy as of 1909 on the ground of Staatsblad 1906 no. 276. The Regeeringsalmanak mentions dr. V.A. Wille as managing medical doctor of this institution 1930.
In recent times the hospital evaluated into a general hospital: the Rumah Sakit Umum William Booth, situated on the Jalan Letnan Jenderal S. Parman no. 5. at Semarang. Coordinates: Latitude: 6,99 and Longitude: 110,41. This hospital is classified as a category C hospital (Reg. code: 3374032) with 71 beds.