Materia Medica Malaysiana

October 22, 2007

Doctors sacrifice Sunday to do good

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 8:39 am

NST: KUALA SELANGOR: Thanks to 43 medical personnel who provided their services free of charge yesterday, many plantation workers will receive treatment for illnesses they did not know they had.
K. Pichey, of Sungei Buloh Estate, for example, was diagnosed with elephantiasis after suffering from a swollen leg for five years.
“I went to a hospital in Tanjung Karang, but I was only given painkillers,” said the 48-year-old driver. “The doctor has referred me to Kuala Lumpur Hospital, and now I hope to get better.”
Fifty-two-year-old P. Rajamani has been unable to move her head since she sustained burns while at work three years ago. She said she couldn’t afford the specialist treatment she needed, but now she is looking forward to a “normal” life after she was referred to an orthopaedic surgeon.
T. Komathy had been suffering from shortness of breath for months and didn’t know what was wrong. She was diagnosed with asthma and bronchitis. The 46-year-old also had a pap smear and checks on her blood sugar level and blood pressure.
“They also found a small swelling on my back and have referred me to the Radiology Department at Kuala Lumpur Hospital for further tests,” said Komathy, who has worked on Sungei Buloh Estate for more than 20 years.
An assistant manager at the estate, Asmanisham Abu Samad, 31, has been walking around with a runny nose for the past five months. He was told it wasn’t the chronic cold he thought it was, but asthma. Now he will receive proper treatment.
The voluntary community project was jointly organised by the Manipal Alumni Association of Malaysia (MAAM) with Safe Aim Mutual Sdn Bhd and facilitated by Sime Plantations Sdn Bhd.
More than 220 workers from the Sungei Buloh Estate, Tennameram Estate and Mill, Selangor River Estate and the Bukit Kloh Estate received free, comprehensive health screening. Most were diagnosed with one illness or another — some of them serious and life-threatening.
A team of 32 specialists — ophthalmologists, Ear, Nose and Throat doctors, paediatricians, radiologists and an orthodontist checked the workers, along with six general practitioners, a pharmacist and several medical assistants.
MAAM president Dr Koshy Thomas said: “The objective of the project was to provide health advice to communities who lack the infrastructure and facilities for proper healthcare. This is the second year we have done this for these estates and we hope to go nationwide in future.”
“Our workers have benefitted since this annual community service project began last year. It has helped in our efforts to improve the quality of health of our workers,” said Sime Plantations Sdn Bhd Business Unit 3 operations manager Siow Heng Kin.

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