Dr. Gong Yongxiang, head of the Aier ophthalmic expert team, performed a free cataract surgery on a Myanmar patient at the Sitagu Shwe Pyi Hein Clinic in Yangon on May 19th, 2017. [Photo: China Plus/Tu Yun]
Some 200 cataract patients in Myanmar will soon be able to see things more clearly thanks to a Chinese medical team providing free eye surgery treatment in the Southeast Asian country.
With a population of some 54 million people, Myanmar reportedly has at least 300,000 cataract patients.
81-year-old Aung Win is one of them.
He received free cataract surgery on his left eye in Yangon on Friday, after which his vision improved to 20/25, which is just slightly worse than average.
81-year-old Aung Win from Yangon said he felt happy that he's able to see things clearly after the surgery on May 20th, 2017. [Photo: China Plus/Tu Yun]
"It's just fine after the operation. Previously I could basically see nothing clearly. But now it's very clear."
The operation was conducted by a doctor from a Chinese medical team led by Peng Zhikun from the Aier Eye Hospital Group.
"The Loving Overseas Chinese—Brightness Action program is aimed at bringing charity and medical expertise together so as to bring brightness to underprivileged patients in the countries along the route of the Belt and Road Initiative."
Peng Zhikun adds that "Loving Overseas Chinese—Brightness Action" is also a practical result of the implementation plan on health cooperation, a collaboration between China and the World Health Origanisation under the Belt and Road Initiative. The implementation plan was signed last week in Beijing.
A group of Myanmar cataract patients posed for a picture with the organizers on May 20th, 2017 after successful operations on the previous day. [Photo: China Plus/Tu Yun]
The China inspired Belt and Road initiative brings together more than 60 countries across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe in economic and cultural cooperation.
Chinese medical workers are scheduled to provide similar free operations to cataract patients in other Southeast Asian nations including Cambodia, the Philippines and Thailand later this year.