Free surgery for more than 500 cataract patients

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A 50-member Chinese medical mission — comprising ophthalmologists, nurses, and technical support staff from Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University, and the Beijing Municipal Health Commission — arrived in Jamaica last Wednesday to perform cataract surgeries on more than 500 Jamaicans at Kingston Public Hospital (KPH).

The Bright Journey Medical Mission, which is on its second visit to the island, will also be providing equipment and supplies valued at $52.9 million to KPH, and will carry out training and lectures in ophthalmology and facilitating academic exchanges.

The medical mission arrived at Donald Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay and travelled to Kingston where they were met on arrival at Jamaica Pegasus hotel by Jianghong Fan, counsellor for economic and commercial affairs at the Chinese Embassy in Jamaica.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the mission was signed recently by officials of both countries at the Ministry of Health’s New Kingston offices.

“In recent times, Jamaica’s collaboration with China has been especially robust in health. That collaboration is on show with the signing of an MOU that heralds a deepening of our partnership and in the public health interest,” the ministry’s permanent Secretary Dunstan Bryan said at the signing ceremony .

He said the initiative is “a clear demonstration of a strong and healthy bilateral relationship” between Jamaica and China in the area of public health, and he thanked the Chinese Government and people for their generosity and long-standing friendship.

Chinese Ambassador to Jamaica Tian Qi said the cooperation in the health sector is one of the major areas of partnership between both countries.

“Our cooperation is comprehensive and mutually beneficial in nature, and with this second Bright Journey they will perform at least 500 cataract surgeries for patients here and restore their sight. It is a gesture of goodwill of the Chinese Government and the people, through the Jamaican Government and the people,” Ambassador Qi said.

The Bright Journey Medical Mission first visited Jamaica in May 2015.

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