Over 500 cataract patients to receive free eye surgery

Monday, March 25, 2019

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OVER 500 Jamaicans are to benefit from cataract surgery at the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH), performed by Chinese ophthalmologists from the Bright Journey Medical Mission.

The mission, which will be on their second visit to the island, will also be providing equipment and supplies valued at $52.9 million to KPH and carrying out training and lectures in ophthalmology, and facilitating academic exchanges.

This was disclosed by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Dunstan Bryan at a recent signing ceremony for a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the mission between Jamaica and the People's Republic of China.

The signing ceremony was held at the ministry's New Kingston offices.

According to the permanent secretary, China has been one of Jamaica's strongest development partners with diplomatic relations extending over several decades.

“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,” he said.

The Bright Journey Medical Mission is scheduled to return to Jamaica in April, following its first visit in May 2015.

The team includes ophthalmologists, nurses and technical support staff from the Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University and the Beijing Municipal Health Commission.

“This initiative is a clear demonstration of a strong and healthy bilateral relationship between [both countries] in the area of public health. The government and people of Jamaica extend thanks to the government and people of the People's Republic of China for their generosity and longstanding friendship,” the permanent secretary said.

He added that the relationship has allowed a number of Jamaicans to have an improved quality of life through restoration of vision and a happier life.

For his part, Chinese Ambassador to Jamaica Tian Qi said the cooperation in health is one of the major areas of partnership between Jamaica and China.

“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,” he said.

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