Petaling Jaya, 24 June 2021 – Persatuan OKU Sentral (OKU Sentral) and Sime Darby Plantation Berhad (SDP) today welcomed Prime Minister YAB Tan Sri Dato’ Haji Muhyiddin bin Haji Mohd. Yassin to the OKU Sentral Drive-Through Vaccination Centre (PPV), which is specifically for vaccinating Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) or Orang Kurang Upaya (OKU) community, at SDP's headquarters in Plantation Tower, Ara Damansara, Petaling Jaya.
Chairperson of OKU Sentral, Yang Berhormat Senator Datuk Ras Adiba Radzi said, “I am pleased to see that my OKU friends have been incredibly supportive in the nation’s fight against COVID-19 by coming out and getting vaccinated. Being the first and the only OKU drive-through PPV in Malaysia and the world, I am delighted to say that we have received a 95 per cent satisfaction rating from our vaccine recipients. We are only in our second week running, and our goal is to keep this rating high throughout the next five months.
“As the representative of the OKU community and on behalf of my friends, I would like to thank the Prime Minister YAB Tan Sri Dato' Haji Muhyiddin bin Haji Mohd. Yassin for visiting the facilities here today despite his busy schedule, to take time to understand the unique concerns faced by our OKU community during the pandemic. OKU Sentral is proud to be playing a role in the broader National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP).
“The OKU community in Malaysia is not small. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 15 per cent of the country’s population are the disabled, hence in our country its almost 4.7 million people. But less than 600,000 are registered as an OKU with the Welfare Department of Malaysia (JKM),” Datuk Ras Adiba continued, “So I am hopeful that more of my OKU friends will get registered under JKM through this programme as we are also distributing JKM’s OKU registration forms here.”
The drive-through PPV for PWDs is a community-driven solution born out of a public-private partnership, which aims to provide easy access to the disabled community as well as their carers to help accelerate the nation’s inoculation drive.
Datuk Ras Adiba, who is also a Member of the Senate of Malaysia to represent PWDs, said “I believe that this community-based approach, is a viable solution to speed up the government’s COVID-19 vaccination roll-out and to assist in the nation’s recovery from the pandemic. And on behalf of my friends in the OKU community, we are pleased to receive the government’s support as part of the National Recovery Plan (NRP). And we are incredibly grateful to partner with SDP and Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) for this vaccination programme.”
SDP's Group Managing Director, Mohamad Helmy Othman Basha said, "It is truly an honour for all of us at Sime Darby Plantation to welcome YAB Tan Sri Dato’ Haji Muhyiddin bin Haji Mohd. Yassin, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, to our Plantation Tower headquarters here in Ara Damansara today. As the official venue sponsor of the OKU Sentral Drive through PPV, we are proud to be a part of an important initiative which we hope will help accelerate the rate of vaccination in our nation’s journey to achieve herd immunity.
"The strong collaboration and commitment from all programme partners continue to be instrumental in the smooth running of this PPV which is now in its second week of operation. On behalf of all at Sime Darby Plantation, I would like to thank our Prime Minister, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, the Ministry of Health, OKU Sentral as well as all programme partners and our employees for their continued support," added Mohamad Helmy. Accompanying the Prime Minister during his visit was the Minister of Women, Family and Community Development, Yang Berhormat Datuk Seri Rina binti Mohd Harun.
On behalf of the country’s PWD community, Datuk Ras Adiba said, “I would also like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all our programme partners and supporters – the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), Ministry of Health (MOH), the Special Committee for Ensuring Access to COVID-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV), COVID-19 Immunisation Taskforce (CITF), Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (KPWKM), Malaysia Vaccine Support Volunteers (MyVAC), Selangor State Government, Selangor State Department of Health, Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM), Sime Darby Plantation Berhad, Yayasan Sime Darby, Ara Damansara Medical Centre, ProtectHealth Corporation Sdn Bhd, Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ), Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia (BOMBA), Malaysia Civil Defence Force (APM), the Malaysian Volunteer Department (RELA), Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS), and the OKU Sentral Volunteers (OSV) – for their tireless effort, support and guidance towards making this programme a reality.”
Registration for this vaccination programme, which is now closed, was opened earlier this month for PWDs above 18 years of age from all seven government-recognised disability categories – Blind, Deaf, Speech Disability, Physical Disability, Multiple Disabilities, Learning Disability and Mental Disability – from Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Selangor. Within the first five days of operation, the drive-through PPV has administered a total of 753 vaccines.
SDP is the venue and logistics provider, while its philanthropic arm Yayasan Sime Darby is the financial sponsor for the five-month programme initiated by OKU Sentral after discussions with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI). Ara Damansara Medical Centre, part of the Ramsay Sime Darby Health Care group of hospitals, is the exclusive partner hospital to the initiative with its team of 30 staff members comprising doctors, nurses and ancillary personnel on duty per day.
Upon hearing about the programme and SDP's involvement, employees of the Company had signed up as volunteers to assist and ensure a smooth flow of the programme. In addition, SDP Group's downstream operations, Sime Darby Oils, is also sponsoring special treats made with its red palm fruit oil product – ELAIESE, for all programme volunteers, including medical personnel from Protect Health, Ara Damansara Medical Centre, The People's Volunteer Corps (RELA), and OKU Sentral volunteers.
For further information, please contact OKU Sentral Hotline:
Tel: 011 6455 6194 / 017 202 9756 (Monday - Saturday, 9.00am-5.00pm)
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