The Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Brunei Ophthalmology Society received a special donation from TotalEnergies for the Children’s Vision Aid Fund project in a ceremony at the MoH yesterday.
Permanent Secretary at the MoH cum guest of honour Haji Maswadi bin Haji Mohsin received the donation from TotalEnergies General Manager Jerome Saniez.
TotalEnergies Corporate Services Manager Harina Ramlee said, “In line with TotalEnergies’ corporate social responsibilities (CSR) Pillar of Youth Inclusion and Education, this project is initiated to provide comprehensive eye care and treatment to the paediatric and young population in Brunei Darussalam, specifically those
from underprivileged communities, and children who are differently abled and have learning dis-abilities.”
Harina added, “The project will sponsor the purchase of visual aids for young children aged up to eight. This project is a collaboration with the Brunei Ophthalmology Society and the eye clinics, MoH, who will provide early intervention through screening programmes, and provide assessments and prescriptions. It is hope that early intervention and visual aid will reduce the risk of visual impairment among young children.
“With an early assessment and the provision of visual aids to these children, it will give them a better opportunity to correct their vision, and lead a better quality of life. This initiative will help with their education and learning abilities as visual function is important in helping a child read and learn.
“This move also reflects the new image of the company, after its recent rebranding from Total to TotalEnergies. TotalEnergies represent a broad energy company committed to producing and providing energies that are ever more affordable, reliable and clean.
“Energy is life and we all need it and it’s a source or progress. Just like these young children today, they are the future and they represent the new energy,” Harina said.
Meanwhile, Brunei Ophthalmology Society President Dr Hajah Helena binti Pehin Orang Kaya Setia Jaya Dato Paduka Haji Hurairah said that vision is the most overlooked factor impacting a child’s success in school and in life, adding that, “When you invest in a child’s vision, you are investing and empowering children to achieve their full potential. You are providing them a better life through better sight.”
Dr Hajah Helena said that at the 74th World Health Assembly on May 27 this year, “World health ministers committed to adopting two new eye health targets for 2030 addressing cataract and refractive error – the two leading causes of treatable blindness and vision impairment globally.
“All countries have now committed to a 30 per cent increase in effective coverage of cataract surgery and a 40 per cent increase in effective coverage of refractive error and by 2030 – the adoption of these two ambitious targets comes at a time world leaders negotiate a landmark resolution on eye health at the United Nations (UN) which links eye health directly to many of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN.
“On May 28, this year, shareholders of a broad energy company passed a resolution to change their name from Total to TotalEnergies – in a strong statement of commitment to producing and providing energies that are more affordable, reliable and clean. The strong thread of commonality between all our organisations is sustainability.
“All of us here today share the vision in prioritising sustainable long-term development in all dimensions possible at the heart of all our projects and initiatives to contribute to the well-being of our surrounding communities and the future generation.”
The ceremony saw seven-year-old Muhammad Aiman Danish bin Mohamad Khazami receiving his visual aid from TotalEnergies. As a thank you, he presented them a drawing.
His father, Mohamad Khazami bin Haji Mohd Daud, said, “Syukur Alhamdulillah, on behalf of Aiman, we would like to convey our deepest appreciation to TotalEnergies, the MoH and Dr Hajah Helena. We are very grateful and touched by the contribution.”
“He made the drawing himself yesterday. It was all Aiman’s idea. He loves to draw,” Mohamad Khazami said, before explaining that Muhammad Aiman Danish is fully dependent on his right eye, after the nerve in his left eye was left damaged following chemotherapy. His right eye is showing signs of weakening, and the visual aid will help.”