The International Medical University (IMU) staff and students responded to the flooding that has devastated communities in the eastern part of Peninsular Malaysia with “immediate relief” efforts and “post recovery” efforts. These efforts include meeting the medical needs for the victims at relief centres, basic medical equipment and vaccines and medications.
The University’s staff and students first responded to this natural disaster by sending basic need items consisting of clothing, food items, blankets, medications, mineral water, biscuits, canned milk, bandages and plasters, towels and many other useful items for the relief effort. IMU staff and students also kindly donated a total of RM 13, 158.50 (RM10, 658.50 from staff and students of the Bukit Jalil campus and RM2,500 from staff and students from IMU’s three clinical schools). Through its IMU Foundation, the University donated RM50,000 to this. Part of this was used to purchase four units of 2.2kva Generators, four units of water pumps and ten units of water jets worth RM16, 120 to the affected areas. The IMU Foundation also received RM200,000 from its parent company, IHH Healthcare Berhad. The amount was used to purchase items for the affected schools and villages in Kuala Krai Kelantan. These items include 1200 school packs (donated to students of Sekolah Kebangsaan Laloh, SK Lela Jasa and SK Lata Rek and received by them on 13 January), 800 family packs of household essentials and medicine to run a static clinic in Kg Laloh (Planned date of distribution: 31January). A supply of medicine is also to be donated to Klinik Kesihatan Laloh which was badly affected by the recent flood. Another sponsor was My Hero Hypermarket Sdn Bhd which donated mineral water, biscuits and stationary items. Finally, the IMU Disaster Fund also made available RM40,000 for additional needs. The University is also planning to run a commuity service event on 31 January at SK Laloh. I-Medik and Yayasan Ikhlas is collaborating with IMU to run the clinics and distribution of family packs. In the early stage of the flood disaster, IMU, in collaboration with CCM Berhad has also organised a donation of medicine worth RM4,000.00 to the Jabatan Kesihatan Negeri Kelantan to help with the recovery of medical services in the affected areas of the state. Prof Azizi Ayob and A/Prof Zainur Rashid Zainuddin, have travelled to one of the affected states, Kelantan, several times to provide supplies and any assistance needed. They have helped in setting up Mobile Clinics and Prof Azizi is coordinating the medical supplies. Furthermore, an IMU Alumnus and staff, Dr Erwin Khoo from the Department of Paediatrics assisted in Maran, Pahang through Mercy Malaysia. He was placed in Kampung Pesagi (an island at that point of time) not accessible through road) about 2 hours travel from Maran with a boat and two 4WD vehicle. His team treated about 80 patients in the village where everybody stays in a school. Not to be left out, a few students from the University also gave a helping hand to the victims by volunteering themselves as Medical Assistant in one of the five Klinik Kesihatan in Kota Bharu.
It is envisaged that the above efforts are not the last that IMU will be involved in. Much assistance is still needed. Nevertheless, IMU is able to respond to early needs of the affected population in Kelantan. This reflects well on staff and students who are part of this Caring University.