GX Foundation and the Ministry of Health of Lao PDR officially launched the foundation’s “Cataract Blindness Elimination Project” today in Vientiane. Attended by Foundation Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Mr Leung Chun-ying, His Excellency Deputy Prime Minister of Lao PDR Mr Sonexay Siphandone, and His Excellency Minister of Health Dr Bounfeng Phoummalaysith, and witnessed by other officials,representatives of the 103 Military Hospital, and guests online. The ceremony marked the start of a 3-year project which aims to eliminate thousands of backlogged cases of cataract blindness across the country.
GX Foundation signed an MOU with the Ministry of Health in 2019 for a five-year cooperation on this project, which provides cataract surgery free of charge to underprivileged elderly people in different areas of the country, starting with Vientiane. Surgery is conducted on board two Mobile Eye Treatment Centres (METC), which are fully equipped to perform cataract surgery on a patient in 20 minutes. A 10-person medical team from Southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region have arrived in Vientiane to provide their medical expertise. The group has previous experience with delivering cataract surgery on board METCs in Cambodia, working with The Belt and Road Hong Kong Centre. In June 2021, the foundation opened its first overseas field office in Vientiane.
GX Foundation Mr Leung Chun-ying said, “In the last two years, exchanges between the Chinese and Laotian people have been disrupted by the global pandemic. As the first non-governmental organisation to resume work in Laos after COVID-19, GX Foundation hopes to resume exchange between our people through the launch of the cataract blindness elimination project. This project brings about people-to-people connectivity and continues the friendship between China and Laos, taking steps towards synergistic development of our two countries.”
Vice Premier Han Zhen of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China hopes that Hong Kong will strengthen cultural exchanges to promote people-to-people connectivity within the region. The humanitarian assistance and public health projects led by GX Foundation in Cambodia, which aim to improve the quality of life of local people and promote cultural integration between China and Laos, highlights the Foundation’s pioneering participation in the Belt and Road Initiative.
Donated over 20 metric tons of medical equipment to empower Laotian anti-pandemic capacity
Besides cataract blindness elimination, GX Foundation has worked with the Ministry of Health to address broader health needs of the Laotian people.
In June 2021, GX Foundation handed over 20 metric tons of medical equipment to Laos Deputy Prime MInister and Chairman of the National Taskforce for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, Kikeo Khaykhamphithoune, with hopes to empower the country’s anti-pandemic capacity. The donation was made as a gesture of friendship and solidarity between the Ministry and GX Foundation of Hong Kong. Although donation of relief supplies is not the original mission of the foundation, the organization made an exceptional decision to lend a helping hand to the protection of healthcare staff and clinical management of COVID-19 patients in Laos.
"We hope the situation can soon be contained so that we can resume our cataract project and serve out our mission, as well as consolidate the friendship between the people of our two countries." Said Mr Leung Chun-ying, Chairman of GX Foundation.
The donation included 60 patient monitors; 10 ventilators; 1,500,000 surgical masks; 30,000 surgical gowns; 160,000 gloves; 10,000 safety goggles; and 10,000 face shields.
After the ceremony, Leung also met with Lao Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh who thanked the foundation as well as the Chinese people for providing the supplies.