Currently, there are around 285 million of world population suffering from blindness. The International Agency for Blindness Prevention mentioned as high as 80 percent of cases can be prevented if people receive comprehensive eye services.
Prof. dr. Suhardjo, S.U., Sp.M( K), eye specialist and lecturer at Faculty of Medicine UGM, said cataract emerged due to clouding in eye lenses. This diseases contributes to the second highest causes for blindness in developing countries.
Suhardjo explained there were many risk factors for cataract, such as age, genetics, smoking, ultraviolet exposures, diabetes and steroids. Indonesian Health Research Data in 2013 said the prevalence of cataract in all ages are 1.8 percent, the highest being in North Sulawesi (3.7%), Jambi (2.8%) and Bali (2.7%). The lowest prevalence is in Jakarta (0.9%) and West Sulawesi (1.1%).
Most patients have not undergone a surgery due to ignorance (51.6%), unaffordability, (11.6%) and fear (8.1%).
To mark the 52nd National Health Day on 12 November 2016, Jogja Eye Help and Opthalmologists Association (PERDAMI), Department of Eye Health Sciences at Faculty of Medicine UGM, and Happy Land Hospital plan to give eye surgery to people and myopia checks to children.
Suhardjo added "As many as 5 - 10 percent of primary school children have sight disorders and 87 percent experience myopia, but they don’t realise that. So, we would give this checks and would distribute glasses to those in need,” he said.
Hj. Tri Kirana Muslidatun, S.Psi., from Jogja Eye Help, said as a non-profit NGO, JEY aims at free-from-cataract goal for Jogjakarta. Jogja Eye Help seeks to meet the goal of having people fromYogyakarta with good eye health so this can boost prosperity, productivity and quality of life.
Tri Kirana explained the eye surgery and checks would run on 12 November 2016 at Happy Land. Previously, from 28 October 2016 - 5 November 2016 screening would be done.
"We hope this information can be socialised. This surgery is for the people of Jogja, I would like to invite those that need the services to come forward,” she said.