Plan to set up NIAT get MOH’s attention

20 Apr 2019 / 13:13 H.

PUTRAJAYA: A proposal to set up the National Institute for Assistive Technology (NIAT) by the Malaysian Foundation for the Blind (MFB) will be discussed at the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) post Cabinet meeting, said its minister, Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.

He said, despite being still at the idea-generating level, the proposal for the setting up of NIAT was seen as an objective in ensuring the handicapped benefited from the advancement in research and technology.

‘’I am very excited at the idea of the setting up of NIAT, which among others, will focus on the aspect of empowering the handicapped through support technology research and development for the group.

‘’I will bring the proposal and idea by MFB to the ministry’s post Cabinet meeting to see how the government can play a role to make successful the agenda of the setting up NIAT,’’ he told reporters after participating and launching the 2019 EyeShade Walk and Run programme organised by MFB here today.

Also present at the event, which was participated by over 500 people, were Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abd Samad and MFB chief executive officer and joint founder Silatul Rahim Dahman.

The proposal to set up NIAT was raised by Silatul Rahim in his opening speech at the ceremony other than also touching on the need for frontline personnel at health premises be given training on how to face patients from the handicapped group and the use of braille on medicine packages.

Commenting on the matter, Dzulkefly said he understood the importance of medical packages to be handicapped-friendly, specifically the blind.

‘’Packages which are blind-friendly are very important, ditto the suggestion that health personnel be given training to handle the handicapped at health premises..these will also be taken to the ministry’s post Cabinet meeting,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, Siratul Rahim said the setting up of NIAT would ensure the process of research, development and providing support technology for the handicapped could be implemented more systematically.

He said that, currently, about 10 per cent of the 30 million Malaysian population lived with one handicap and were truly dependent on support equipment.

Many handicapped people undergo their daily routines with the assistance of support equipment and without support technology they would be doubly handicapped, he added. — Bernama

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