ST Nicholas Home and Penang Adventist Hospital (PAH) achieved another milestone after signing a memorandum of understanding on their latest partnership to provide free cataract surgeries for the needy.
Both parties were thrilled to announce the start of the project that allows better pooling of resources and expertise to benefit the community.
According to the World Health Organisation, cataract is the number one cause of blindness worldwide. It is a natural ageing process in the lens inside the eyes that can cause total or near total vision loss if left unattended.
St Nicholas Home executive director Daniel Soon said for this year, the project has allocated funds for subsidised or free cataract surgery for 20 needy persons.
“Surgery per eye will cost RM3,500 and we are allocating RM1,000 per person while the remaining RM2,500 will come from Penang Adventist.
“Medical professionals will conduct an eye screening and assessment to determine if the candidate qualifies for subsidised or free cataract surgery,” he said after the MoU signing and mock cheque presentation of RM20,000 to PAH at the home recently.
The ‘Free cataract surgery for needy patients’ fund is partly funded by PAH’s Welfare Fund and St Nicholas’ L’Occitane Foundation for programmes to fight avoidable blindness and provide quality eye care services.
PAH president and chief executive officer Ronald Koh said the MoU signing was special to both parties as it teamed up a non-government organisation and a not-for-profit hospital to provide the best for the community.
“Contributions from corporations or individuals towards our fund are highly appreciated to carry out our mission of bringing significant changes in blindness prevention in Penang.”
He urged needy folk with cataract to approach PAH or St Nicholas.
Also present were PAH charity manager Jenny Ooi and the home’s head of department D. Jayah.