30 to have cataract ops today


SGH to conduct surgeries under Rotary Brings Vision to Sarawak project

FOR A GOOD CAUSE: Dillah (third right) presents a mock cheque to Rotary Club of Kuching Central president Frankie Ong.

KUCHING: One can easily visualise how a person who had been suffering from poor vision would react the first time he or she gets his or her vision restored.

The best to tell such experience, however, would be the 30 patients scheduled to undergo cataract surgery at the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) today.

The patients from the low income group who live in Serian, Sri Aman, Betong and Lundu, aged between 60 to 70 years, are thankful to CIMB Bank, Sarawak Health Department, SGH Ophthalmology Department and Rotary Club of Kuching Central for making that possible.

According to the organising chairman of the project and past president of Rotary Club of Kuching Central Chai Ko Jee, the cataract operations are scheduled to be done this morning with the first batch of patients required to be at the hospital by 7.30am.

“A total of six eye specialists (ophthalmologists), including two from private clinics, assisted by 33 medical officers and nurses are to carry out the pre-operation review, cataract operations and post-operation review.

“The eye specialists will be led by Dr Intan Gudom, Head of SGH Ophthalmology Department and two operating theatres will be used concurrently,” he said in his speech at the launch of the project by State Health Department director Dr Zulkifli Jantan.

Meanwhile, Dr Zulkifli said the involvement

of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and corporate bodies, such as Rotary and CIMB Bank was most welcomed.

“Their deed will be  remembered especially by the patients themselves. Vision is important to each and every one of us because without vision we have lost our most important sense in our body,” he said.

Therefore, he said, the patients should be most grateful to Rotarians and CIMB Bank for making the operations possible.

CIMB Bank, through its corporate social responsibility (CSR) project, chipped in with RM100,000 for today’s operation and also the next round to be held in February or March next year.

According to Dr Zulkifli, cataract is the leading cause of preventable blindness in developing countries and in Malaysia it accounts for 39 per cent of bilateral blindness.

SGH alone receives approximately 40 to 50 new patients with cataract every month while the number of those undergoing cataract surgeries was 120 per month, he said.

Among those present at the launch of the Rotary Brings Vision to Sarawak project yesterday were SGH director Dr Abdul Rahim Abdullah, CIMB Bank Sri Aman branch manager Dillah Ahmad and Rotary officials.