KUCHING, Aug 15: A total of 89 patients — 39 from Balingian and 50 from Oya and Mukah — have successfully underwent cataract and pterygium surgery at Mukah Hospital.
According to a media release today, the operations were conducted over two days by a team of ophthalmologists and medical officers.
The patients from Balingian were identified from 130 residents from 20 longhouses who went for the preliminary screening while those from Oya, Dalat, Igan and Mukah were from the waiting list at Mukah Hospital.
Of the 89 procedures, 78 were for cataract operations with seven having both eyes operated on, while 11 others had pterygium operation. Pterygium is corrective surgery to remove fibrovascular growth on the cornea.
One of the patients, Tuai Rumah Dingun Tidih from Sungai Duan, Balingian expressed his gratitude after the cataract surgery and was surprised at how painless the procedure was.
“I have had poor vision for quite a while now making reading and some other daily tasks difficult. After the operation, my vision now clear,” the headman said.
The operations were conducted and led by Sarawak’s head of Ophthalmology Department Dr Chieng Lee Ling and supported by ophthalmologists, medical officers, and optometrists from the department.
The programme was part of Sarawak Energy’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative organised in partnership with the Sarawak Health Department and Klinik Katarak Malaysia under the Ministry of Health.
Dubbed Sarawak Energy’s CSR Eye Vision Programme for Better Living in the Rural Community, the initiative was awarded Gold under Best Community Programme category at the 10th Annual Global CSR Awards in 2018.
Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability general manager Jiwari Abdullah emphasised that improved eye-sight meant that the patients can continue working to earn income for their families.
“Sarawak Energy was able to extend the CSR Eye Vision Programme to communities in Mukah and Balingian with the support and partnership of the relevant parties,”he said.
The first Eye Vision programme in 2017 benefited 86 patients from Kapit and Baleh. This was extended to Sungai Asap and Murum Resettlement in July 2019.
“We extended our support to the Sungai Asap and Murum Resettlement on July 2019 where 14 residents have their visions restored,” he added. — DayakDaily