GX Foundation and the Ministry of Health of Cambodia have renewed their commitment today for the Foundation’s cataract blindness elimination project in Prey Veng Province. The project will provide cataract surgery free of charge to the elderly people of Prey Veng Province. Today’s ceremony solidifies GX’s presence in the country for the next 3 years, signed into effect by Foundation Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Mr Leung Chun-ying, and His Excellency Minister of Health Professor Mam Bunheng, and witnessesd by Ambassador Wang Wentian of the People’s Republic of China.
This is the second memorandum of understanding signed between GX Foundation and the Ministry of Health, with the first agreement signed in October 2019 for a 3-year partnership to eliminate the backlog of cataract-blind patients in Prey Veng province in southeastern Cambodia. Since then, GX Foundation has also worked with the Ministry of Health on COVID-19 equipment donation, vector-borne disease control projects. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the Foundation reprioritised pandemic humanitarian activities and delayed the launch of the cataract blindness elimination project. Under this renewed agreement, GX Foundation is committed to launching its project in Prey Veng Province in December 2022, assuming the pandemic situation in Cambodia is under control.
The Foundation will send 2 Mobile Eye Treatment Centers (METC), which are fully equipped to perform cataract surgery on a patient in 20 minutes. Medical experts from Southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region will be sent to provide free cataract surgeries to Cambodia people. The group has previous experience with delivering cataract surgery in Kampong Cham in partnership with the Belt and Road Hong Kong Centre.
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 Cambodia, highlights the Foundation’s pioneering participation in the Belt and Road Initiative.
Donated over 20 metric tons of medical equipment to empower Cambodia’s anti-pandemic capacity
Besides cataract blindness elimination, GX Foundation has worked with the Ministry of Health to address broader health needs of the Cambodian people.
In July 2021, GX Foundation handed over 20 metric tons of medical equipment to the Ministry of Health of Cambodia to empower its anti-pandemic capacity. The donation was made in response to an urgent request from the Cambodian government amid rising COVID-19 infections since April. “Until April this year, the government and people of Cambodia were very successful in keeping the COVID-19 pandemic at bay. The recent outbreak calls for emergency assistance from friends overseas”, Mr Leung Chun-ying, Chairman of GX Foundation, said during the handover ceremony. Although donation of relief supplies and equipment donation was not the original mission of the foundation, Leung said the organization made an exceptional decision to be a helping hand for the protection of healthcare staff and the clinical management of COVID-19 patients in Cambodia.
The donation included 300 oxygen concentrators, 1,000,000 surgical masks, 30,000 isolation gowns, 160,000 gloves, 10,000 safety goggles and 10,000 face shields.
“The foundation hopes that these emergency relief materials will help alleviate the burden of COVID-19 on the health care workers, COVID-19 patients and communities across Cambodia,” Foundation CEO Professor Emily Ying Yang Chan said.
Launch vector-borne disease control project
Vector-borne diseases, such as dengue, malaria and Chikungunya fever are prevalent across Southeast Asian and African countries where the Foundation is conducting activities. In May 2022, GX Foundation returned to Cambodia to launch its vector-borne disease control project. Expert teams were invited to 4 hospitals and medical centres across Phnom Penh and Prey Veng to donate solar-powered mosquito lamps and conduct health education and capacity building on preventing and protecting individuals against vector-borne diseases.
GX Foundation has worked with Hong Kong medical students interested in humanitarian and public health assistance projects, to undertake training placement across Belt and Road countries. In May 2022, two medical interns from the foundation completed an exchange programme at Prey Veng Hospital. This programme aims to broaden the horizons of students, to learn about healthcare systems and health needs in developing countries.
Over the past four years, the Foundation has visited eight Southeast Asian and African countries and embarked on discussions on humanitarian aid projects with local health officials. Various projects were undertaken in three of these countries, including Laos, Cambodia and Djibouti.