SOPB Vi­sion Care Pro­ject iden­ti­fies 164 villagers in Balin­gian need­ing pre­scrip­tion glasses

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MIRI: The Sarawak Oil Palm Bhd (SOPB), through its cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity (CSR)’s ‘Vi­sion Care Pro­ject’, has iden­ti­fied 164 villagers liv­ing in ar­eas where it op­er­ates its es­tates and mills, as need­ing pre­scrip­tion spec­ta­cles.

This group is from 195 villagers from nine long­houses and six vil­lages in SOPB’s ar­eas of op­er­a­tion in Balin­gian.

This was re­vealed dur­ing an eye-screen­ing drive held by the SOPB at Balin­gian Com­mu­nity Hall in Mukah re­cently.

Es­tab­lished in 2013, the ‘Vi­sion Care Pro­ject’ is an an­nual col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the SOPB and the Min­istry of Health, meant as a CSR en­gage­ment with the lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and stake­hold­ers.

Through the part­ner­ship and sup­port from Mukah Health Of­fice, Mukah Dis­trict Coun­cil and Eye­sense Op­ti­cal Sdn Bhd, the pro­gramme in Balin­gian was des­ig­nated to reach out to the folk from the long­houses and vil­lages within and around the vicin­ity of the group’s ar­eas of op­er­a­tions.

“It is also the in­ten­tion of SOPB to lower the risks of pre­ventable blind­ness, par­tic­u­larly among the el­derly folk in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties, who of­ten do not have the nec­es­sary means to ob­tain im­me­di­ate ac­cess to med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties,” said SOPB in a press state­ment.

Apart from those who had been iden­ti­fied as need­ing spec­ta­cles, there were oth­ers who would un­dergo fur­ther med­i­cal review at Mukah Hos­pi­tal and also at the eye clinic in Bin­tulu Hos­pi­tal.

Penghulu Shah­dan Sha­hari, who was also present at Balin­gian Com­mu­nity Hall, ex­pressed his ap­pre­ci­a­tion to SOPB on be­half of the villagers.

“Words could not de­scribe our grat­i­tude to SOPB for its gen­eros­ity in pro­vid­ing the free eye-screen­ing; we’re grate­ful that those with eye­sight problems are able to get spec­ta­cles and also some who will un­dergo cor­rec­tive surg­eries, all spon­sored by SOPB,” he said.

Other that the ‘Vi­sion Care Pro­ject’, the group also runs other var­i­ous CSR projects such as the an­nual Young Achiev­ers Awards (YAA), Stu­dent Adop­tion Pro­gramme (SAP) and ‘Get Equip’d’ re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­gramme.

An el­derly vil­lager un­der­goes a visual acu­ity check dur­ing the eye-screen­ing drive, run by the SOPB at Balin­gian Com­mu­nity Hall in Mukah.

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