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Reaching Out to the Differently-Abled: Yayasan Ipoh’s First Collaboration with MoH to Speed Up Vaccination

By Mei Kuan

A total of 50 differently-abled persons (OKU) and 22 immediate caregivers were given their first dose of the Sinovac vaccine in a first-ever collaboration between Yayasan Ipoh, a non-governmental organisation and the Ministry of Health (MoH).

A voluntary effort of Yayasan Ipoh, the one-day event was held today (June 30) at its disabled-friendly premises in Bercham. 

Hailing from all over Ipoh, the OKU recipients ranged from age 18 till 75.

Dato’ Dr Ramanathan Ramiah, CEO of Yayasan Ipoh cum Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon of Persatuan Pemulihan Sultan Azlan Shah explained, “It’s a collaboration we hope to continue in the future so that we can assist the MoH to vaccinate more people especially the needy and the differently-abled as soon as possible to achieve herd immunity. Hopefully, there will be many more such joint ventures. Our place is open to the public and we want to reach out to the public and help the government in whichever way possible.”

Dato’ Dr Ramanathan Ramiah (right) and Raam Kumar (left)

“Many of the differently-abled come here for daycare therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy, among others. Every day, about 60 of the differently-abled come here; some are referred from the general hospital and private hospitals. To date, we have registered over 10,000 new patients,” he stated, adding that Yayasan Ipoh is also appointed as PERKESO’s (Social Security Organisation) rehabilitation panelist.

Present was Raam Kumar, Executive Chairman of Yayasan Ipoh.

One of the immediate caregivers, 43-year-old Tan Swee Lai who lives in Bercham shared, “I’m really grateful to Dr Rama and Yayasan Ipoh for all the help offered as the vaccination will provide protection for my son from COVID-19. My 18-year-old son had an accident in 2017 and sustained a brain injury. He has been undergoing therapy three times a week at Yayasan Ipoh for over two years now.”

Dato’ Dr Ramanathan Ramiah with Tan Swee Lai and her son

Founded in 1982, Yayasan Ipoh is a non-profit organisation established to primarily raise funds to support the rehabilitation services of its therapy division, Persatuan Pemulihan Sultan Azlan Shah. No one is left behind at this donor-funded rehabilitation centre that provides various therapy services for people with disabilities and anyone in need irrespective of race, religion, culture, age and financial status.

Operating in strict adherence to the health and safety standard operating procedures, Yayasan Ipoh presently opens from 8am till 5pm from Monday to Friday and 8am till 4pm on Saturday (closed on Sunday). The foundation was formerly known as Yayasan Sultan Idris Shah.

To learn more, visit www.yayasanipoh.org.my or call 05 5481905. It is located at Lot 158413, Lorong Bercham 11, Bercham, 31400 Ipoh.

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Tan Mei Kuan

Tan Mei Kuan graduated with first-class honours and book prize from University of Malaya majoring in languages and linguistics (English). She is proficient in both written and spoken English and Malay. She is also conversant in Mandarin and has knowledge of Japanese and Korean languages. Mei Kuan has been on the Dean’s List for three years running. Having written for the campus newspaper and residential college magazine, joining Ipoh Echo has helped utilise her writing and language skills. In her spare time she enjoys running (races).

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