413,000 Malaysians age 50 and above have eye problems — Dr Teo

Dr Teo (standing, red batik) and Dr Jack Wong (to his left) posing for a group photo with the organising committee.

By Jaythaleela K

MIRI, Oct 13: A total 413,000 Malaysians age 50 and above suffer from visual impairments, with 113,000 of them classified as blind.

Citing the 2014 National Eye Database, Miri MP Dr Michael Teo said cataract was the major contributor at 58.6 per cent, followed by diabetic retinopathy at 10.4 per cent and glaucoma at 6.6 per cent.

He revealed these statistics when launching World Sight Day at E-Mart Riam near here today.

Dr Teo told those present that with cataract as the main contributor to visual impairments, the Ministry of Health and other parties had come up with initiatives such as the cataract clinic programme since 2013.

“This ensures people in hard-to-reach areas have access to simple cataract surgery to prevent blindness,” he said, noting that Miri Hospital had three eye specialists.

On World Sight Day, Dr Teo said it helped spread awareness about eye care, avoidable blindness and visual impairment issues. In line with the theme “Eyecare Everywhere”, Miri Hospital’s Ophthalmology Unit is providing free eye screening for the public.

He encouraged the public to take this opportunity to get the best advice, awareness and prevention of visual impairments.

Also present at the launching ceremony was Miri Hospital director Dr Jack Wong.

World Sight Day is a global event to draw attention to blindness and vision impairments. It was initiated by the Sight First campaign of the Lions Club International Foundation in 2000. — DayakDaily