16 Dec Officially closed, 907 Eyes Now Can See Martabe Gold Mine’s Free Cataract Series: Open Your Eyes See the Beautiful World
Medan, 16 December 2016 – A total of 907 eyes (673 people) regained their eyesight after participating in the Martabe Gold Mine Free Cataract Surgery program series: Open Your Eyes, See the Beautiful World (Buka Mata Lihat Indahnya Dunia) which has been completed at Padang Sidimpuan Military Hospital, December 8-11, and Putri Hijau Military Hospital, Medan, December 13-16, 2016.
As many as 829 eyes from 607 people who took the cataract surgeries and 78 eyes of 66 people who took pterygium surgeries were ranging from the age of 21 months to 90 years. They came from various areas in the island of Sumatra, such as Padangsidimpuan, Madina, Sibolga, Langkat, Deli Serdang, Tarutung, Karo, Rantau Prapat, Nias, and Aceh.
“We appreciate the support of all stakeholders who have been involved in the shared effort to eliminate blindness in North Sumatra, in particular in South Tapanuli where Martabe Gold Mine operates. This year, once again we become a valuable part of the life of 673 patients and families who have been given the opportunity to see again the beautiful world and to live a more productive life,” said the President Director of Martabe Gold Mine, Tim Duffy.
In collaboration with A New Vision humanity institution and with support from the Military Area Command I Bukit Barisan, since year 2011, a total of 5,662 people (6,087 eyes) have taken the cataract surgery using the quick and safe intraocular lens method with 100% success rate.
Tim added that cataract can occur on every person, including babies and children, not limited to adults only. “During the 5 years of executing this program, we see now cataract disease can affect anyone in the community. The youngest patient was eight months old, while the oldest was 108 years old,” said Tim.
After his eldest son, Ahmad Rohan (7 years) had the specific child cataract surgery successfully on December 14, 2016 at Putri Hijau Military Hospital, Medan, M. Soleh said that he was very relieved that eventually the eyesight problem on his son’s both eyes could be removed. “After two years of waiting and trying various medications to recover Rohan’s eyesight, considering my limited income as a driver, I thank God greatly that both Rohan’s eyes can normally open and see again. He laughed happily and ran everywhere soon after both eyepatches were removed,” said M. Soleh.
Ahmad Rohan suffered blindness due to cataract on both eyes since he was 5 years old. He could only stay at home, moved by probing the walls, and could not play outdoor. Since the problems on both eyes, he could not stand sun rays or a bright light. His parents had to cancel the plan to register him into a kindergarten. Rohan turned into a sad and grumpy kid from an active and happy boy. Only the closest relatives could touch him or talk to him.
“Now he is so eager to get to school. His mother and I want to get home soon in Panyabungan and seek information on school registration for Rohan. Our long journey from Panyabungan to Medan resulted in a great happiness, and all the examination and surgery were free. It really helped us,” added M. Soleh.
The Martabe Gold Mine Corporate Senior Communication Manager, Katarina Siburian Hardono said, “During the Free Cataract Surgery social program, which has been held since year 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2016, Martabe Gold Mine has also executed a familiarization and training for the information officers and paramedics in several cities in North Sumatra. A total of 4,700 people have been trained to gain basic knowledge about cataract through the Cataract Information Week and more than 14,091 people have registered for free eye examinations. In total, more than 24,500 people have gained benefit from all the series of program.
Cataract is not a curse or incurable disease. Statistics show that 4 out of 5 blind people who suffer from cataract can be cured. The data from the Ministry of Health of RI in year 2015 say that Indonesian people have the tendency to suffer from cataract 15 years earlier compared to people in subtropical regions. Approximately 16-22% of the people with cataract who were operated were below 55 years old.
In North Sumatra, it is predicted that there are 170,000 to 200,000 people suffering from cataract. Every year every year there are 17,000 additional cataract blindness cases. Cataract can be cured through surgery, however the total number of surgeries does not exceed 10,000 thousand per year.
Photo 1: Tim Duffy, Martabe Gold Mine President Director helped a patient who just had cataract
surgery at Army Hospital Losung Batu, Padangsidimpuan (08/12/2016). In Padangsidimpuan, the free
cataract surgery was carried out at Losung Batu Military Hospital from December 8 until December
Photo 2: The Deputy President Director Linda Siahaan and the Corporate Senior Communication
Manager Katarina Siburian Hardono representing the management of Martabe Gold Mine gave eye
drops to the patients who have succeeded taking the cataract surgery the day before at Putri Hijau
Military Hospital Medan, and then released them to return home (14/12/2016). In Medan, the free
cataract surgery was carried out at Putri Hijau Military Hospital from December 13 to 16, 2016.
Photo 3: Ahmad Rohan with his father, M. Soleh, and his aunt, a moment after both eye surgery patches were removed (15/12/2016). Ahmad Rohan suffered blindness due to cataract on both eyes since he was 5 years old. After the cataract surgery, the eyesight of his both eyes have returned to normal.
Martabe Gold Mine Overview
Martabe Gold Mine is located to the west side of Sumatra Island, in Batang Toru Sub-district, North Sumatra Province, with an area of 1,639 km2, under the sixth generation of Contract of Work (“CoW”) which was signed in April 1997. PT Agincourt Resources manages Martabe Gold Mine that has a resource of 7.4 million ounces of gold and 69 million ounces of silver and began its full production in early 2013, with an annual capacity of 250,000 ounces of gold and 2-3 million ounces of silver.
More than two thousand people are currently working at Martabe Gold Mine, 70% of them are recruited from fifteen villages around the mine and other nearby areas.