SIBU: Region 2 Lions Clubs launched its Lions ‘Sight First to Life on Cataract and Diabetes Awareness’ project with the Sibu General Hospital at the hospital yesterday.
The function included very detailed talks on these topics: Cataract by Dr Thomas Law, Glaucoma by Dr Lee Siew Ting and Diabetic Retinopathy by Dr Jasmine Low.
Making the address as guest-of-honour at the opening ceremony, first Vice-District Governor of Lion International Dato Betty Wong Yieng said she was happy to be a Lion from which she learnt that the blind yearn more for caring than money.
Expressing that a gift without love and interest of the giver is empty, she elaborated that Malaysia was a beautiful country blessed with natural resources and wonderful people of multi-races, cultural and religious backgrounds.
She was quoted as saying: “If you care, if we make the people of this great country care, the blind will indeed triumph over the blindness”.
Meanwhile, she related the Lions Sight First programme was launched in 1925 where it took the challenge of Helen Keller to be ‘Knight of the Blinds’ in the crusade against darkness; and today after 88 years, the Lions are still touched by her inspiration.
She also conveyed her sincere gratitude from the bottom of her heart to the many Lions members and sponsors who contributed implant chips for the cataract operation yesterday.
Their generous action, she pointed out would give back sight to the blind that enabled them to be independent in work, giving them pride in that they no longer need to depend on others to cope with their daily lives.
So great are their gifts that they bring back colours of the world to the blind, all made possible from their selfless contributions, she added.
Earlier on, the organising chairperson, Patricia Ting, said sight was the most precious of the five senses, and many people feared blindness more than any other disability.
“Thus, we should take good care of the eyes. Doctors recommend that everyone has an eye examination shortly after birth and at least every few years until age 40.
“Thereafter, the eyes should be examined about once a year. In addition, the eyes should be examined any time if an abnormal condition persists,” she said.
In developed countries, Ting said diabetes was one of the most common causes of blindness, kidney failure and amputations.
Blindness could result from the damage to delicate arteries in the retina, the light-sensitive tissue inside the eye, she added.
Deputy director of Sibu Hospital, Dr Ibrahim Jack was also present.