Gift of Sight

Hong Kong Ad­ven­tist Hospi­tal Foundation launches a char­ity pro­gramme that aims to pro­vide 200 cataract surg­eries to un­der­priv­i­leged el­derly pa­tients

Hong Kong Tatler - - Tatler Focus -

Hong Kong Ad­ven­tist Hospi­tal Foundation (HKAHF) has launched a char­ity pro­gramme aimed at help­ing some of the most dis­ad­van­taged el­derly peo­ple in the re­gion suf­fer­ing from cataracts.

The move fol­lows pub­li­ca­tion of re­search that shows cataracts can af­fect a suf­ferer’s cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties as well as sight.

“In light of this, early di­ag­no­sis and treat­ment through surgery is of ut­most im­por­tance,” says Jo Soo-tang, chair­man of the Board of Gov­er­nors at HKAHF. “Un­for­tu­nately, many un­der­priv­i­leged el­derly are un­able to re­ceive treat­ment due to financial con­straints.

“In its mis­sion to serve el­derly pa­tients in need, HKAHF has launched the Char­ity Cataract Pro­gramme to of­fer timely as­sis­tance and sup­port to un­der­priv­i­leged el­derly suf­fer­ing from cataracts, help­ing them re­store their vi­sion sooner.”

Lat­est fig­ures from the Hospi­tal Author­ity show there to be more than 30,000 peo­ple need­ing treat­ment for cataracts in Hong Kong ev­ery year, and Dr Jef­frey Pong, a spe­cial­ist in oph­thal­mol­ogy and a con­sul­tant for HKAHF’S Eye Fund, says the num­bers will in­crease as the pop­u­la­tion ages.

The pro­gramme aims to pro­vide 200 cataract surg­eries to dis­ad­van­taged el­derly pa­tients aged 65 or over by pro­vid­ing one pre­op­er­a­tive con­sul­ta­tion, cataract surgery, and three post-op­er­a­tive con­sul­ta­tions free of charge. Pa­tients who meet the ap­pli­ca­tion cri­te­ria may ap­ply, and those with cataracts in both eyes will be of­fered pri­or­ity. To ap­ply for sup­port, ap­pli­cants must be:

• Aged 65 or above,

• In sta­ble gen­eral health,

• On the wait­ing list at a pub­lic hospi­tal for cataract surgery or di­ag­nosed with a cataract con­di­tion,

• On Com­pre­hen­sive So­cial Se­cu­rity As­sis­tance or not have as­sets ex­ceed­ing HK$210,000 for a sin­gle per­son or $318,000 for a mar­ried cou­ple (based on the el­i­gi­bil­ity cri­te­ria for the Old Age Liv­ing Al­lowance as stip­u­lated by the So­cial Wel­fare Depart­ment).

Those on long-term med­i­ca­tion must pro­vide a med­i­cal his­tory re­port.

Soo-tang says HKAHF has pro­vided cataract surgery for more than 100 el­derly pa­tients since its found­ing in 1999.

“As our pop­u­la­tion ages, the de­mand for cataract surgery will con­tinue to rise. The Char­ity Cataract Pro­gramme is a way for HKAHF to serve the un­der­priv­i­leged in the com­mu­nity, more specif­i­cally the el­derly who are cur­rently await­ing surgery,” she says, adding that the or­gan­i­sa­tion is grate­ful to the Se­nior Cit­i­zen Home Safety As­so­ci­a­tion for its sup­port for the scheme, and for its re­fer­rals and as­sis­tance in se­lect­ing el­i­gi­ble can­di­dates.

Soo-tang says that in ad­di­tion to the sup­port for cataract pa­tients, the HKAHF has also funded heart surg­eries for more than 300 un­der­priv­i­leged chil­dren and in ex­cess of 200 cochlear im­plan­ta­tion pro­ce­dures.

HKAHF also operates can­cer, oto­log­i­cal, or­thopaedic and gen­eral chil­dren’s med­i­cal funds. The Chil­dren’s Hear­ing Fund is aimed at pro­vid­ing sup­port for chil­dren in Main­land China and Hong Kong. The Can­cer Fund was set up to pro­vide PET/ CT and MRI scans to un­der­priv­i­leged pa­tients for early di­ag­no­sis and to as­sess the spread of the dis­ease. In part­ner­ship with Hong Kong Tatler, HKAHF con­ducted a month-long poll on­line dur­ing the sum­mer to se­lect 10 in­spi­ra­tional women for its Women of Hope cam­paign. A lun­cheon was held to re­veal the win­ners, with all pro­ceeds from the event go­ing to the Can­cer Fund.

The Oto­log­i­cal Ser­vice Fund was es­tab­lished in 2010 to pro­vide gen­eral treat­ment and surgery for deaf peo­ple in Nepal, and the Chil­dren’s Or­thopaedic Fund—also launched in 2010—is aimed at help­ing needy chil­dren in Hong Kong suf­fer­ing from con­gen­i­tal prob­lems such as club foot, de­vel­op­men­tal dys­pla­sia of the hip and arthro­gry­po­sis.

In­for­ma­tion about how to sup­port the HKAHF’S Char­ity Cataract Pro­gramme or other funds can be found at hkahf.org.hk, at its of­fi­cial Face­book page, and on its In­sta­gram ac­count @hkahf.

Do­na­tions that do not spec­ify any par­tic­u­lar area of help will sup­port the Chil­dren’s Med­i­cal Fund, which was es­tab­lished in 2003 aimed at as­sist­ing chil­dren in need of life-al­ter­ing or life-sav­ing med­i­cal treat­ments.

New ini­tia­tive Hong Kong Ad­ven­tist Hospi­tal Foundation (HKAHF) held a press con­fer­ence on Oc­to­ber 5 to un­veil

the char­ity pro­gramme

qual­ity health­care From right: Jo Soo-tang,

chair­man of the Board of Gov­er­nors at HKAHF;

Dr Jef­frey Pong, a con­sul­tant for HKAHF’S Eye Fund; and Lau Lap Keung, one of the ben­e­fi­cia­ries from the Char­ity Cataract Pro­gramme

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