KUALA LUMPUR, August 10 – Mah Sing Foundation recently contributed RM 50,000 to MERCY Malaysia for its Cleft Lip and Palate Programme in Myanmar.
Serving an average of 16 patients a day, MERCY Malaysia’s volunteer medical team worked tirelessly for seven intense days, serving 94 Cleft Lip & Palate patients in Sitagu Ayudana Hospital. Following official approval from the Ministry of Health in Myanmar, the medical team, headed by Dr Aung Lwin Oo and Dr Lew Chee Kong travelled to Sitagu Ayudana Hospital, located in the Sagaing region, from 10th-16th of July 2016. The medical team comprised of 3 surgeons, 3 assistant surgeons, and 3 anaesthetists where each surgery took between 30 minutes to 2 hours to complete.
The contribution is part of Mah Sing Group’s ongoing corporate responsibility efforts to help improve and look after public health and welfare. This philanthropic effort is an outreach programme by Mah Sing under its Corporate Social Responsibility platform – the Mah Sing Foundation. Mah Sing actively seeks out worthy causes and provides financial contributions to fund efforts to alleviate the burden of those in distress.
“As a caring corporate citizen, Mah Sing Group’s principal in doing business has always been to give back to the community. Our commitment towards corporate social responsibility is deeply embedded in our corporate philosophy and the Group has made numerous donations to worthy causes through Mah Sing Foundation. We are delighted at the results of this Programme in which 94 patients in Myanmar have received life-changing corrective surgery, not to mention their parents who can now easily give them sufficient nutrients needed for a growing child with no difficulty in consuming foods or liquids,” said Mah Sing Foundation Chairman, Datuk Syed Norulzaman Syed Kamarulzaman.
Making a Difference for Those in Need
“For nearly two and a half years, my granddaughter was not able to consume liquids due to her Cleft Lip and Palate defect. When consumed, it would leak out of her nose and cause her to choke. After her mother left when she was six months old, it has been a struggle to be able to give her the care and nutrition she needed to develop properly,” said Daw Pyone, the grandmother of Aye Chen Kabyar Aung.
She added “Since the surgery, even though still in recovery, there have been signs of improvement whenever she swallows her milk. She does not choke anymore and I am really happy and grateful that she can eat and drink properly”.
In addition to the treatments, the team also managed post-operative care and conducted education sessions with local medical staff and caregivers. 13 staff nurses at the hospital who were previously trained conducted Basic Life Support training with help from MERCY Malaysia’s team.
“The programme began in 2013 when MERCY Malaysia expanded its Cleft Lip and Palate Programme to Myanmar. A large portion of the population does not have sufficient access to health care services. According to the registry of Central Women Hospital in Yangon, there is a prevalence of cleft defects in 1 per 800 to 1,000 viable births, twice the rate of a developed country. Our operations in Myanmar plays a significant role in the lives of our beneficiaries. With the generous donation from Mah Sing Foundation and the unending support of Myanmar’s Ministry of Health, it has allowed us to continue the Programme for the year 2016,” said Ir. Amran Mahzan, Acting Executive Director of MERCY Malaysia.
Cleft lip and palate facial anomaly are caused either by genetics or environmental factors. Depending on the severity, the condition can be fatal or cause basic actions such as eating, drinking, talking or breathing to be antagonising. The anomaly cases are most prevalent in rural and underprivileged communities, where access to basic health care services are limited.
Mah Sing Foundation has supported MERCY Malaysia in previous projects programmes including community projects in Nepal and medical programmes for Refugees in Malaysia.
*Image Caption: (L-R) Ir. Amran Mahzan, Deputy Executive Director of MERCY Malaysia; Dr Lew Chee Kong, Medical Volunteer of MERCY Malaysia and Datuk Syed Norulzaman Syed Kamarulzaman, Chairman of Mah Sing Foundation.