The Ministry of Health has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Standard Chartered Malaysia to help restore sight to underprivileged cataract patients nationwide under the bank’s Intraocular Lens (IOL) project.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said under the MoU, Standard Chartered would be donating RM220,000 to cover the cost of approximately 1,000 intraocular lenses and bringing eye support to communities in the rural areas particularly Sabah, Sarawak and the East Coast for a year starting Nov 1.
“People with vision impairment are more likely to experience higher rates of poverty and disadvantages. Fortunately, the majority of vision impairment is avoidable.
“Realising this challenge, the ministry has taken proactive measures to prevent avoidable blindness by partnering with corporate organisations,” he told reporters after the MoU Signing Ceremony here yesterday.
Dr Dzulkefly said under the IOL project, the ministry worked strategically with Standard Chartered Malaysia to provide eye care and cataract treatment at 41 hospitals and a network of outreach ‘Klinik Katarak Malaysia’ nationwide.
Meanwhile Standard Chartered’s managing director and chief executive officer Abrar A.Anwar said the MoU marked the third phase of a collaboration between both parties in enabling sight restoration since 2013.
“From 2013 to 2018, our bank through the Standard Chartered Foundation had received donations totalling RM2 million covering over 6,000 intraocular lenses for communities in the rural areas,” he said.
The signing of the MoU was witnessed by Dr Dzulkefly and it was signed by the ministry’s Secretary General Datuk Seri Dr Chen Chaw Min and Abrar.