More than 10,000 people have already received free cataract surgery performed by Chinese ophthalmologists in a project to eradicate blindness caused by the disease, with support from the GX Foundation of China. The initiative is already taking place in five countries in Asia and Africa, including Cambodia, Laos, Djibouti, Mauritania and Senegal.
In Cambodia, the project was launched in September 2022, with the aim of restoring the vision of around 10,000 patients in Prey Veng Province by September 2025. Cataract surgery on one eye in hospitals or clinics in the country costs between US$300 and US$500, an amount that poor and rural residents can hardly afford.
According to the GX Foundation, a team of Chinese ophthalmologists along with two mobile treatment centers and a 35-seater bus were made available to offer on-site surgeries. Ophthalmologist So Sopanhavatei, director of Prey Veng Provincial Referral Hospital, said the project had brought great benefit to the population. “To date, more than 3,000 patients have undergone surgeries under this project at the hospital,” she told Xinhua.
Ophthalmologist Lu Huawen, leader of the Chinese medical team at Wuzhou Gongren Hospital, said that the vision of more than 98% of patients was greatly improved after surgery. In some cases, it is not possible to notice a significant improvement from the procedure due to other eye complications. “Our help has an immediate and positive impact on patients’ lives and future work,” she added.