Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Social Affairs Ministry provided free cataract surgery in Barito Kuala district, South Kalimantan, with the goal of alleviating poverty by helping people with cataract return to work.

In a press release issued by the ministry here on Thursday, Social Affairs Minister Tri Rismaharini expressed the hope that the surgery would allow people with cataract to return to work and earn an income after their vision is restored.

"If you do not have income, then you have the potential to become poor. (Addressing) This is the responsibility of the Social Affairs Ministry," she said.

Therefore, the ministry took anticipatory and preventive measures against blindness by offering free cataract surgery so that the community remains healthy and productive, she added.

Rismaharini said that cataract surgery is not a major surgery so people need not worry about opting for it. Further, the free surgery organized by the ministry was carried out by specialist doctors who are experts in their fields.

She advised patients who underwent the surgery to not lift heavy objects, bend over, or wash their faces with water for a while.

The free cataract surgery was a part of the programs organized by the Social Affairs Ministry in South Kalimantan.

Minister Rismaharini said that as many as 320 people participated in the free cataract surgery held at the H. Abdul Aziz Regional General Hospital (RSUD) in Barito Kuala district.

All participants went through several stages of screening for sugar level, blood pressure, cholesterol, and biometric tests, among other things, she added.

So far, the Ministry of Social Affairs has provided free cataract surgery to 9,110 people in various regions such as East Java, Papua, West Nusa Tenggara, East Nusa Tenggara, and North Aceh.

At least 724 people underwent free cataract surgery in 2022, over six thousand in 2023, and so far this year, 2,374 people have participated in the surgery.

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Translator: Hana K, Kenzu
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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