Caring for Eye Health, Dompet Dhuafa and Perdami Roll Out Indonesia Staring at the World Program

JAKARTA — Dompet Dhuafa collaborates with the Indonesian Ophthalmologist Association (Perdami) to roll out the “Indonesia Staring at the World” program. This program was officially rolled out along with the signing of a cooperation commitment between Dompet Dhuafa and Perdami at SLBN 3 Jakarta, Sunday (1/10/2023).

On this occasion, Dompet Dhuafa and Perdami also kicked off the program in the form of eye examinations for 50 beneficiaries. The beneficiaries of this initial eye examination are children with special needs (ABK), both SLBN 3 Jakarta students and outside students, as well as the elderly who live in Jakarta. In this event, there was also a symbolic handover of glasses to the beneficiaries. This program is targeted to target as many as 1000 beneficiaries throughout Indonesia.

A talk show session with Nila Moeloek (left) and Yeni Purnamasari (right).
Dompet Dhuafa gulirkan Program Indonesia Menatap Dunia
Symbolization of the handover of glasses for children who are beneficiaries of the Indonesia Staring at the World program.

Present at the kick off of the program themed “Help Children and the Elderly See Better” were Rahmad Riyadi as Chairman of the Dompet Dhuafa Republika Foundation, Yeni Purnamasari as GM Health Dompet Dhuafa, dr. Indra K. Sari representing the Directorate of Prevention and Management of Non-Communicable Diseases of the Ministry of Health, dr. Rismasari as Head of the Central Jakarta Health Office, Siti Aisyah representing the Head of the Central Jakarta Education Office, Prof. Nila Moeloek as the Central Perdami Board of Trustees and its staff, dr. Julie Dewi Barliana as Chairperson of Perdami Jaya and its staff, and Ribka Ginting as Chairperson of the Layak Foundation Board.

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In her speech, Julie Dewi Barliana said that this program is related to Perdami’s mission, namely efforts to eradicate blindness and visual impairment. More specifically, Perdami is currently working to eradicate visual impairment in children.

Dr Indra then explained that this program is not only between Dompet Dhuafa and Perdami. This program also needs support and cooperation from all parties, including from the entire community. This is because children are still unable to express what is an obstacle for them. So the role of parents and people around them will be able to detect whether a child has a problem or not.

Dompet Dhuafa gulirkan Program Indonesia Menatap Dunia
Welcome speech by Dr. Julie Dewi Barliana as Chairperson of Perdami Jaya.

“In implementing this program, together we carry out with all levels of cross-sectors, both private, government, and all levels of society to overcome this problem, so as to create conditions that are inclusive for all who experience problems with vision,” exclaimed Dr. Indra.

The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) states that 90% of blindness can be prevented or mitigated. Of course, it takes effort from all parties to educate the importance of eye health and prevention of vision loss.

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One of the most common causes of visual impairment in the world is refractive error. This disorder accounts for 0.75% of the 3% blindness rate in Indonesia. Most of these disorders appear in the early phase of life, between 6 to 12 years old and can interfere with the ability to absorb learning materials and potentially reduce intelligence.

Dompet Dhuafa gulirkan Program Indonesia Menatap Dunia

Rahmad Riyadi also confirmed that that day Dompet Dhuafa and Perdami together determined to initiate a joint program to overcome vision problems in Indonesia. Dompet Dhuafa as a philanthropic organization will try to invite the public to care about the vision problems that afflict many of our brothers and sisters in the country. Because people with perfect vision, actually their eyes are only able to see 2% of this world.

“Now if that 2% is less than perfect, then how sad it is for those who are less than that. Therefore, we are trying to campaign for this to the maximum. Through this program, we will also make it a model of how to overcome this vision problem comprehensively,” he explained.

To realize this program, Dompet Dhuafa will mobilize the entire network of health services, namely Free Health Services (LKC) spread across 12 provinces in Indonesia. In addition, Dompet Dhuafa is certainly cooperating with Perdami, which consists of professionals in the eye field to become experts in the implementation of screening in cases of eye disorders to potential blindness.

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Dompet Dhuafa gulirkan Program Indonesia Menatap Dunia
Eye examination at SLBN 3 Jakarta, on Sunday (1/10/2023).
Dompet Dhuafa gulirkan Program Indonesia Menatap Dunia
Eye examination process at SLBN 3 Jakarta, on Sunday (1/10/2023).

Currently, there are around 8 million Indonesians who suffer from visual impairment. One of the causes is refraction and cataract.

In more detail, Yeni explained that the Indonesia Staring at the World Program is a movement to donate glasses to underprivileged Indonesian children and the elderly in remote areas, outermost regions, and borders. The hope is that they can feel comfortable in learning, reading, and attending school, despite their limited vision.

“This program was deliberately started in October to coincide with World Sight Day. This program will last for the next 6 months, but it is possible that it will continue throughout the year,” he said.

Eye examination process at SLBN 3 Jakarta, on Sunday (1/10/2023).

 The form of implementation of this program is that Dompet Dhuafa together with Perdami conducts screening of prospective beneficiaries who have been submitted. One of the criteria that we prioritize is those who are less fortunate or who do not have access to eye examinations. Furthermore, it will be followed up with an examination by an ophthalmologist. Only then will further action be taken with a map of management or assistance according to their respective conditions.

Actually, since 2015 Dompet Dhuafa has rolled out a similar campaign called “Indonesia Melihat”. Then, the program rolls out regularly in each region. In 2023, Dompet Dhuafa is again trying to strengthen it together with Perdami.

In the middle of the program’s kick off event, one of the SLB children named Revan took the stage to perform a gandang game in front of the guests. He has apparently made several achievements for his performance. (Dompet Dhuafa/Muthohar)