Opening Speech for Y.B. Senator Heng Seai Kie, Deputy Minister of Women, Family & Community Development for World Glaucoma Day Community Eye Check in Sungei Wang Plaza Bukit Bintang KL on 10 March 2011, noon
A very good afternoon and salam satu Malaysia !大家中午好！Malai Vonokam！. It gives me great pleasure to be here to launch the Screen One Malaysia to Save One Sight today.
This week is the World Glaucoma Week. As we all know “Health is Wealth” and in line with our Government’s vision to become a developed country by 2020, it is even more important for all Malaysians to ensure they are healthy, both physically and mentally. We are seeing more Malaysians becoming more health conscious, wary of what they eat and the need to consume really nutritious food. However, many are still ignorant, allowing diseases to consume their health.
When it comes to the state of health of our eyes, many Malaysians are not aware of the different types of eye diseases and their implications. I believe that many are aware that Cataract can lead to blindness for the senior citizens and diabetics. But have you heard of Glaucoma? Many have not and I hope this will change today and it is why I am here today too.
Glaucoma, dubbed the Silent Thief of Sight, is incurable and irreversible but definitely, losing your sight is preventable. Early screening of eyes for glaucoma can detect the disease and if diagnosed at the early stage, the right treatment can be prescribed. This is important to prevent loss of vision. With proper care and follow-up treatment, some glaucoma patients do not ever have to go blind.
About 3 per cent of Malaysians are diagnosed with glaucoma and more Malaysians have other eye diseases such as cataract. As our nation progresses towards becoming a developed country, I urge all Malaysians to test for glaucoma to avoid blindness.
I understand that the awareness of glaucoma among Malaysian is the lowest among South East Asian countries. I do hope that with today activities, the media will join me and the Malaysia Glaucoma Society to raise the awareness of this silent thief of sight. Let us join hand in hand in this “Screen One Malaysia to Save One Sight” campaign to prevent unnecessary blindness among Malaysians.
To conclude, once again I urge all Malaysians to join me and have their eyes checked for glaucoma. With that, I launch the "Screen One Malaysia to Save One Sight" and wish all Malaysians have healthier eye sight.