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.
Ophthalmology hospital Kertosono
In 1909, Liem Tik Koey, a former Chinese sugar mill owner, founded an association to care for wounded and sick people, at Kertosono (Residency Kediri, Central Java). The hospital started on 20 november of that year and was primarily intended for patients suffering from eye diseases. After 1913, this eye clinic regularly received subsidy from the NI government.
The Regeeringsalmanak 1930 mentions the “Ziekenverpleging Liem Tik Koey” hospital again, with Dr. M.W.Th. van Stokkum as its managing medical director and L.C. Vonck as the chairman of the Association.