22 November 2016
LPMAK's Floating Clinic
In observance of World Sight Day, the Amungme and Kamoro Community Development Organization (LPMAK) in its capacity as administrator of the partnership fund from PT Freeport Indonesia completed a series of activities to provide eye care services for residents in the coastal areas of Mimika Regency, Papua, in the form of free cataract surgery and distribution of free prescription eyeglasses. The activity was conducted over a period of nine days, using LPMAK’s floating clinic as a healthcare facility.
During this activity, LPMAK’s Health Bureau and its team tended to 9 coastal villages in Mimika, comprising 3 villages in Mimika Tengah District, and 6 villages in Mimika Barat District. A total of 941 patients were examined, including 275 children and 666 adults.
In the course of this activity, the health team found 27 cataract cases, 13 of which were immature cataract cases, and 14 were mature cataract cases. Following up on this discovery, nine of the patients underwent successful surgery aboard the floating clinic. Surgery could not be performed on some of the patients, due to medical uncertainties with their suffering from other ailments such as hypertension, and other patients having a fear of surgery despite the procedure only taking around 10 minutes.
According to a member of the medical team carrying out the cataract surgeries, Dr Jusni Saragih, patients who have undergone surgery need two weeks to heal, but if they fail to follow the medical team’s instructions, even after a year the results will be unsatisfactory. "Patients who underwent cataract surgery could immediately discern light, as their lenses were replaced with man-made artificial lenses that function as well as those provided by God for their sight,” dr Jusni Saragih said.
In addition to the cataract surgery service, the LPMAK Health Bureau team distributed prescription eyeglasses for those suffering from nearsightedness and farsightedness, and 229 bottles of eye drop medicine among 12 villages. On this occasion, LPMAK Health Bureau engaged their partners, namely Mimika Regency’s Health Office, RSUD Mimika hospital, and a medical team from the foundation Yayasan Kemanusiaan Indonesia (YKI).
The floating clinic conceived by LPMAK is an endeavor by LPMAK Health Bureau to serve the coastal communities of Mimika. Remote villages accessible only by river provided the grounds for launching the Floating Clinic initiative.
"The floating clinic provides direct village to village service. With support from a team of doctors and nurses from the Mimika Regency Health Office and Ancillary Community Health Center (Pustu) teams, we tended to local residents," LPMAK Health Bureau Chief Yusuf Nugroho said.
LPMAK as the organization administering PTFI’s partnership fund continues to synergize to develop local communities, specifically those near the Freeport contract of work area. In 2014, PTFI investment for community development programs, both run directly by PTFI and in partnership with LPMAK amounted to US$ 92.2 million, whereas total investment for community development from 1992 to 2014 amounted to USD 1.3 billion. (Karel Luntungan)