Indonesia: Restoring eye-sight in Papua

  • A patient smiles during his eye examination. Once a year, the ICRC collaborates with the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) and Dian Harapan Hospital in Jayapura, Papua, to provide this much-needed health service.
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mia Pitria
  • A patient suffering from cataracts – a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision. Of some 354 patients who were examined, 54 underwent cataract surgery to restore their vision.
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mia Pitria
  • A patient attempts to read shortly after receiving a new pair of glasses – one of 170 people who, in December 2014, had their sight tested and were issued with free glasses provided by the ICRC and the Indonesian Red Cross.
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mia Pitria
  • Dr Yanuar Ali, SpM, an ophthalmologist at Dian Harapan Hospital, in jovial mood while examining patients. Dr Yanuar started work in Papua in 1992 and has been collaborating with the ICRC since 2006.
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mia Pitria
  • The surgical team in the operating theatre of a local hospital in Tolikara district perform 20-30 operations every day, each surgery taking between 15 and 30 minutes, depending on the condition of the patient’s eyes. The team and all surgical equipment are transported by small airplanes from Dian Harapan Hospital in Jayapura to this remote district.
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mia Pitria
  • Indah Tarigan, a nurse at Dian Harapan Hospital, administers eye-drops to a patient a day after surgery. Patients stay at the Tolikara hospital overnight in order to be re-examined by the ophthalmologist the following day to ensure that the surgery has been successful.
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mia Pitria
16 February 2015

Cataracts are a major cause of blindness in Indonesia. In the remote province of Papua, bordering Papua New Guinea, a medical team at Dian Harapan Hospital in Jayapura partner each year with the ICRC and the Indonesian Red Cross to bring hope to those suffering from debilitating eye conditions. In 2014, the operation was organized in Tolikara district 2 hours flight from Jayapura.

Since 2006, Dian Harapan Hospital – with financial support from the ICRC and logistical support from Palang Merah Indonesia (PMI, the Indonesian Red Cross) – have assisted people from this remote region where access to health care is limited. Of 354 people who had their eyes examined in December 2014, 170 received corrective glasses, while 54 residents of Tolikara underwent surgery to remove cataracts.