DJIBOUTI CITY, March 25 (Xinhua) -- The GX Foundation has recently completed the first phase of its cooperation with an ophthalmic medical team from north China's Shanxi Province who helped restore the eyesight of more than 350 Djiboutian cataract patients through free surgeries.
Founded in 2018, GX Foundation is a non-governmental and non-profit Chinese charity organization registered in Hong Kong. It works with Chinese mainland health authorities to launch the Cataract Blindness Elimination Project through which medical teams are sent in batches from various Chinese provinces to perform free surgeries for cataract patients in countries along the Belt and Road.
The project first began in Laos and Cambodia last year, and as of mid-March this year, more than 1,500 cataract surgeries had been performed worldwide.
Djibouti has marked the first stop for the foundation's project in Africa after the project was launched in the Red Sea nation in late February this year. It is expected that the project will also reach Mauritania and Senegal later this year to help cataract patients in West Africa.
Emily Chan, CEO of GX Foundation, said the foundation leverages Hong Kong's international strengths to build a platform for professionals and young people of multiple backgrounds from both Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland who wish to participate in international humanitarian relief work.
Caroline Dubois, a Hong Kong-Swiss mixed-race girl, chose to return to Hong Kong to join the foundation after five years with the Global Alliance for Vaccine Immunization in Geneva, Switzerland. Dubois said the foundation brings high-level medical technology and materials from Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland to help those in need. "Every surgery performed helps a patient see again, which is very rewarding."
The foundation's impact has also been recognized by the Chinese Ambassador to Djibouti Hu Bin, who said the NGO from Hong Kong was a new force for cooperation between China and Djibouti in the health sector.
During the launch of the project in Djibouti, Hu noted that the project responded to the urgent medical needs of the Djiboutian people, vividly putting into practice the concept of building a community of common health for mankind.
While in Djibouti, in addition to performing free cataract surgeries, the foundation also donated solar-powered mosquito control lamps to locals and taught them about preventing infectious diseases to help combat malaria outbreaks caused by poor public health conditions and water quality.
"While we help eliminate the accumulation of cataract cases in these countries, we also impart medical technology and public health knowledge to the locals," said Chan, who believes that the foundation's ongoing work will promote people-to-people exchanges with countries along the Belt and Road and bring about shared benefits, a principle featured in the Belt and Road Initiative.