Standard Chartered signs MoA with Ministry of Health
to provide lenses for cataract patients across Malaysia
Event also marks launch of Standard Chartered Foundation
KUALA LUMPUR, 26 FEB 2013
- The country's oldest bank Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Berhad (Standard Chartered) today entered into an agreement with the Ministry of Health to contribute intraocular lenses to cataract patients in the country under its Standard Chartered Cataract Lens Programme.
The Bank is one of the first private organizations to extend support to the ministry's effort to reach out to more people in providing eye care services. The agreement is set to benefit some three thousand cataract patients who cannot afford treatment including those in rural areas across the country over the next three years.
To commemorate the initiative, a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) signing ceremony between the two parties was held to mark the partnership. Signing on behalf of the Ministry of Health were its Secretary General Datuk Kamarul Zaman Md. Isa and Medical Development Division Director Dato' Dr. Haji Azmi Shapie while Standard Chartered Foundation were represented by its Chairman, who is also Managing Director/ CEO, Standard Chartered Osman Morad and member of Board of Trustees Datuk Seri Michael Yam.
Commenting on the partnership, Osman Morad said:
"We are proud to be part of this government initiative as we prove our commitment to Malaysia to be Here for good by demonstrating alignment with the country's goal. We are very thankful to the Ministry of Health for giving us a new opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to our community. As the nation's oldest bank, we are very conscious of the need to continue to act in responsible manner and promote awareness in our community."
Under the agreement, the Bank will provide at least three thousand intraocular lenses over a period of three years to the less advantaged community. These lenses are used in the treatment of cataract in which they are implanted in patients' affected eyes during surgery.
In Malaysia, the leading cause of preventable blindness is cataract. It has been revealed that cataract is responsible for 39% of blindness among Malaysians. Age-related cataract us the most common cause of cataract and it usually occurs among those aged 60 and above. Vision impairment due to cataract is reversible but some prefer to ignore it.
The latest effort is yet another community project by the Bank and is aligned with its focus on the visually-impaired community and prevention of avoidable blindness. In 2009, it had collaborated with the Malaysian Medical Association Ophthalmological Society to promote regular yearly eye screening for diabetic patients. It also contributed three special diagnostic cameras to hospitals in Pahang, Sabah and Sarawak to screen diabetics' eyes for a disease that could cause blindness. The screening programme has been successful in early detection and prevention of blindness for more than 20,000 diabetic patients.
Launch of Standard Chartered Foundation
In conjunction with the MoA, the event also marked the official launch of Standard Chartered Foundation (SCF) as the Bank's charitable arm in Malaysia. Formerly known as Standard Chartered Trust Fund, the foundation was registered in 2005 under the Trustees Incorporation Act 1952.
SCF identifies and channel financial supports and aid to deserving community programmes in Malaysia through various programmes focusing on tackling avoidable blindness; youth, health and education as well as spreading awareness about HIV/ AIDS.
SCF is administered by a Board of Trustees, comprising senior management members of the Bank and independent members. The Chairman of the Board of Trustees is the current CEO of the Bank.