Mon, 4 Mar 2024


Eye screening boost for 3,000
Published on: Thursday, February 01, 2024
By: Jeremy S Zabala
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(Front row, left to right) Marsha, Brad Rosie Chong and Phillip Chong along with (back row, left to right) KC Koh, Carlwin Yee, Aminah, Chendramata as well as Marianne during the signing of sponsorship between Rotary and LDS.
Kota Kinabalu: Some 3,000 people are expected to benefit from free eye screening services following sponsorship worth RM253,000 through collaboration between Rotary Club Kota Kinabalu Pearl (RCKK Pearl) and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS).

RCKK Pearl President Rosie Chong said this funding would enable the club to boost its programme “Rotary Gift of Sight Cataract Camp 3.0” aimed at helping rural villagers suffering from eyesight issues due to cataracts, glaucoma or other eye ailments.

She said this is a continuation of the club’s previous programmes to help the B40 group in obtaining necessary eye screening as well as treatment.

“Sabah faces a substantial cataract challenge, with over 35,000 individuals in need of surgery. The incidence of blindness due to cataracts in Sabah is alarming at 1.1 per cent that affects more than 30,000 people. 

“The contributing factors include poverty, limited awareness and reduced access to eye surgery services. “For the past years, we have provided over 2,000 Intraocular Lens (IOL) for the benefit of needy cataract patients under two Global Grants Gift of Sight Sabah (1.0 and 2.0).

“Building on past successes, the Rotary Gift of Sight Project, Cataract Camp 3.0, aims to complement Government’s efforts in eliminating avoidable blindness and strive to enhance the lives of rural communities in need,” she added.

Chong represented the Rotary while Elder Brad Douglas represented LDS in the signing ceremony hoping to further enhance the club’s Rotary Gift of Sight Cataract Camp 3.0 this year.

Also present were RCKK Pearl President Elect Chendramata Sinteh, Immediate Past President Datuk Aminah Ambrose and Community Service Director Marianne Kiob along with Sister Marsha Douglas, Past District Governor Philip Chong, RCKK South President Carlwin Yee along with RCKK Mandarin President KC Koh.

Chong said the programme this year is a collaborative project with nine other Rotary Clubs in Sabah comprising RCKK Pearl (as lead club), RC Kota Kinabalu, RC Likas  Bay, RC Kota Kinabalu South, RC Tanjung Aru, RC Luyang, RC Kinabalu Sutera, RC Penampang and RC Kota Kinabalu Mandarin.

Also collaborating with the Ophthalmology Department Queen Elizabeth Hospital (HQE), she said screening camps would be established across rural districts including Pitas, Beaufort, Kota Belud, Kota Marudu, Ranau and Kudat with the involvement of Rotarian medical professionals, nurses, cataract finder volunteers and optometrists.

She also said the upcoming programme would provide services including registration, eye screening by trained cataract finders, eye examination by optometrists and doctors for referral cases or records.

“Compilation of referral cases list will be sent to HQE Ophthalmology Department while at the same time the programme will include distribution of glasses to villagers who are in need for eye-sight improvement as well as light refreshments for those visiting the camps.

“The identified referral patients will be given pre-determined appointment dates by the doctors to visit their respective district hospitals for final assessment including final confirmation by Ophthalmologists from HQE.

“The cataract patients will be informed of the date for surgery. Rotary will procure the IOL upon receiving the confirmation from the hospital,” she added.

Chong also said that the club would play its role by reminding referral patients of their surgery appointment.

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