KOTA KINABALU (Oct 16): Nine women from the B40 low income bracket received free cataract surgery on World Sight Day, which fell on 14th October 2021.
Preventable blindness is one of Rotary International’s areas of focus. Due to the pandemic, many are suffering from sight-threatening cataract as government eye clinics postpone surgery dates indefinitely.
This is the second consecutive year that the Rotary Club of Kota Kinabalu Pearl is carrying out its signature Hope in Sight Project to alleviate the need for urgent eye care amongst the needy in Sabah.
The project is a collaboration between the club and its working partner, EyeMedics Specialist Eye Centre, Kota Kinabalu. The aim of the project is to help women who are unable to afford cataract surgery, to restore their vision. They then regain their independence and ability to contribute to their family income.
Hope in Sight was initiated in 2020 during the presidency of Kapitan Eliza Goh.
RCKK Pearl is involved in the selection of patients who are eligible to receive the surgery. Through the team work of ophthalmologist Dr Terrence Soong, optometrist Evix Daud, operating theatre nurses Sr Olivia Pion and SN Jerry Philip, as well as other staff, the eye screening and surgeries were conducted at the EyeMedics clinic.
EyeMedics also launched its new Myopia Clinic, in conjunction with World Sight Day, which focuses on helping adults and children control the progression of their shortsightedness.
On the day of surgery, the club’s president, Majella Marjorie Tan Marquez, community service director Tulip Noorazyze and Kapitan Eliza Goh lent support to the patients who were waiting for surgery, with an ‘X’ marked above the eye to be operated on.
All the patients expressed their gratitude at being given this opportunity to receive free surgery conducted at a private eye centre.
The lenses used for the project this year were funded by a Rotary Global Grant from the Rotary Foundation, which is the charitable arm of Rotary International.
It was heartening to see messages of appreciation pouring in after the surgery. “Thank you to all those involved in the project. My mother can now see clearly, before it was just all blurry and dark,” said a daughter of one of the patients.