The incidence of blindness among Malaysians is on the rise. According to a recent survey, some 0.4 per cent of the country’s population suffers from some form of blindness. That means almost 110,000 Malaysians have problems with their eyesight.
In an effort to combat this scourge, the Rotary Club of Kinta has initiated actions to educate the public on the seriousness of the problem. “We have to target the source,” said Dato’ Dr. M. Subramaniam, the club’s newly elected president during his opening address at the start of a seminar on eye-care for teachers and trainee teachers. The seminar held at Impiana Hotel Ipoh on Thursday, August 5 was attended by over 100 teachers from in and around Ipoh.
By the word “source” Subramaniam was referring to school kids. “Efforts at correcting eye defects are best done when the victims are still young,” said Dato’ Dr Balaravi Pillai, the Head Consultant Ophthalmologist of Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun, Ipoh (Ipoh General Hospital). Dr Balaravi warned the audience against falling for gimmicks such as the buy-one-get-one-free catchphrase favoured by many optical shops. “These so-called opticians are not trained and are no experts in eye care,” he remarked. “You have to visit a government hospital to get expert advice and attention.”
In a brief ceremony preceding the seminar, CIMB Bank Bhd, represented by its Greentown branch manager, Mr. S. Manivel Subramaniam donated RM101,200 to Rotary Club of Kinta to fund the club’s community projects. The bank has been actively pursuing its corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme and has provided much financial assistance to the needy via social organisations like the Rotary Club of Kinta. Preventing blindness is one of the bank’s favoured CSR initiatives.