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'Bright Journey' to Lao capital highlights China-Laos friendship

Source: Xinhua | 2019-11-28

By Zhang Jianhua, Wang Shan

VIENTIANE, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- A team of oculists from China's Yunnan province have concluded a "Bright Journey" in Lao capital Vientiane from last Friday to Tuesday, which highlights the bilateral people-to-people friendship.

The activity, running till Tuesday, provided free surgeries for 94 Lao cataract patients at Lao National Ophthalmology Center in Vientiane.

The 2019 "Bright Journey," launched by Yunnan Folk Friendship with Foreign Countries Exchange Foundation, has organized a medical team consisting of professional medical staff from the First Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University, who also donated all the medicines, materials and equipment needed for the activity.

Xienglien Vongvichit, 67, a farmer from northwestern Laos' Botane district of Xayabury province, on hearing of the Bright Jourey's arrival in Vientiane, took a five-hour tour for the surgery.

When talking to the reporter on Monday, Xienglien had just completed his post-operation review. "Now I can see clearly," he said with delight.

Phansy Sivixay, 74, has cataracts in both eyes. "I feel the surgery is well done and the review in this morning showed favorable outcome," she told reporters.

"After hearing China's Bright Journey coming in the hospital, I was very happy and hurried to register for the surgery. Now I can see everything clearly."

At the opening ceremony of the event on last Friday, Nao Boutta, director general of Cabinet under the Lao Ministry of Health, said the Bright Journey providing free surgeries for poor cataract patients in Laos, restoring their eyesight, will contribute positively to promoting the visual health of Lao people and reducing the blind population.

Kham Aod Nuansavanh, 29, the doctor of the Lao National Ophthalmology Center, helped the Bright Journey team to select patients and conduct preoperative examinations and evaluation.

"The results are fairly good after the surgeries. They (the Chinese doctors) applied high technology to perform the surgery. I am feeling happiness for the Lao patients," she told reporters, adding that the cost of cataract surgery is still high in Laos, so the free surgery solved the problem for many patients.

Liu Zehui, the deputy secretary general of the Foundation, said during the launching ceremony since its establishment in November 2013, the foundation has been actively carrying out public welfare projects for Laos.

"Only making friends sincerely can enable friendship lasting, and only the people-to-people bond can lay a solid social and public foundation for the friendship between the two countries. Carrying out the Bright Journey here is our important step to build the bond between the people of China and Laos."

The foundation has already organized such activities of Bright Journey, themed as "delivering brightness, friendship, love and intimacy," in Vientiane and Luang Prabang in northern Laos three times till this year, providing free cataract operations for 474 patients with 100 percent successful rate of operation, which is widely welcomed and highly appreciated by the local government and the communities.