Batangtoru, October 21, 2023 – The 2023 free cataract surgery series conducted by PT Agincourt Resources (PTAR), the manager of Martabe Gold Mine, continues in Pematang Siantar City, North Sumatra. The operation, which was held on October 20 and 21, 2023 at Siantar Eye Hospital, succeeded in curing 226 eyes out of 209 patients with cataracts. As of today, a total of 1,087 eyes out of 1,030 cataract patients have been successfully operated on by PTAR through the 2023 free cataract surgery program.
PTAR Senior Manager Community, Christine Pepah, said that the Martabe Gold Mine’s 2023 free cataract surgery held in Pematang Siantar was part of a series of activities that had started in South Tapanuli in September. Through this program, PTAR aims to free 1,300 eyes from cataract blindness.
“This is the third location after we previously conducted it at Bhayangkara Batangtoru Hospital and Sipirok Hospital, South Tapanuli,” he explained.
Christine explained, based on data from Mencirim Eye Hospital 77 Medan as a PTAR partner, cataract patients in Pematang Siantar and surrounding areas are quite high. The data then encouraged PTAR to carry out a free cataract surgery program in Pematang Siantar.
“The patients who registered for surgery came from Pematang Siantar and its surroundings, such as Tebing Tinggi City, Simalungun Regency, Karo Regency, and Toba Regency. There were even some from Mandailing Natal Regency. In principle, we want the company’s presence to provide maximum benefits to the people in North Sumatra,” he explained.
This free cataract surgery activity received positive appreciation from the community. Asnimah Sinaga, one of the patients from Bosar Maligas Sub-district, Simalungun Regency, admitted that she was helped by this program.
Asnimah has suffered from cataracts in her right eye for five years. During this time, his activities were disrupted due to his limited vision. He had tried several traditional treatments, but he never recovered. To perform the surgery, he was constrained by cost.
“Thank you to Martabe Gold Mine for this free cataract surgery. Now my eyes are healthy like before,” she said.
According to Adilan Syahputra, Operations Manager of Mencirim 77 Medan Eye Hospital, in the operation in Pematang Siantar, his team deployed five ophthalmologists, so that the operation was completed more quickly and patients did not have to wait too long.
“In addition to cataracts, in this activity in Pematang Siantar we also operated on 43 eyes suffering from pterygium or fatty layer in the eyeball. Pterygium is as dangerous as cataracts because both have the potential to cause blindness,” he explained. Meanwhile, PTAR Senior Manager Corporate Communications, Katarina Siburian Hardono, added that after successfully holding free cataract surgeries in South Tapanuli and Pematang Siantar, PTAR will hold cataract surgery at the last location, Mencirim 77 Medan Eye Hospital on November 11-12. Thus, the Martabe Gold Mine’s 2023 Free Cataract Operation series reached four locations in North Sumatra.
2023 is PTAR’s ninth year of organizing free cataract surgeries. Since its inception in 2011 to date, PTAR’s cataract surgeries have cured more than 10,000 eyes of around 8,000 people and provided indirect benefits to tens of thousands of people, not only the patients’ families but also the surrounding communities. “Seeing the high interest and need of the community for free cataract surgery, we are committed to continuing this program in the coming years. Our hope is that the number of cataract blindness patients in North Sumatra can continue to be reduced so that it will automatically improve the quality of life of the community,” concluded Katarina.