BEIJING – The launching ceremony for the “2011 China-Africa Brightness Action” was held at the Beijing HNA Marriott Hotel on March 17th. Co-organized by the National Committee of Blindness Prevention (NCBP), China Association for Promoting Democracy, the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC), HNA Group Co., Ltd, Anhui Foreign Economic Construction (Group) and Beijing Tongren Hospital, the campaign will give patients with cataracts in Zimbabwe 500 free vision rehabilitation surgeries in 9 days. This is the second time such Chinese volunteers undertook large scale public welfare activities in Africa.
It is estimated over 60,000 patients with cataracts in Zimbabwe. However, due to the bad conditions of local medical services and an undeveloped economy, most patients cannot be treated in time and therefore lose their eyesights permanently. This time, the National Committee of Blindness Prevention and Beijing Tongren Hospital dispatch a medical team of 8 experts, who will give free vision rehabilitation surgeries to Zimbabwe patients in 9 days, transferred by the charter flight offered by Deer Jet, HNA Group. Deer Jet also selected a skilled flight crew, who will also perform as volunteers supporting the campaign.
During the launching ceremony, the airplane named “Brightness Action” from HNA Group was unveiled. The Boeing 737-800 was painted in colors embodying the way to brightness. It will be an ambassador, carrying people’s love and belief, and spread the brightness and great love to places in and out of China.
According to incomplete statistics from the WHO, there are an estimated 16 to 21 million people worldwide who are suffering cataracts. Of these, 5 million are in China, increasing by 400,000 to 600,000 every year. Nearly 2 million are in urgent need of surgeries. In 1999, WHO set up the strategic target of eliminating the avoidable blindness with the slogan “Vision 2020, Global Initiative for the elimination of Avoidable Blindness – the Right to sight”. From 2003, the National Committee of Blindness Prevention initialized “Brightness Action” for blindness prevention and treatment, and has given over 30,000 patients in poverty free vision rehabilitation surgeries.
In 2004, HNA Group, the National Committee of Blindness Prevention and Beijing Tongren Hospital co-launched “HNA-Qingzang Plateau 10 year Brightness Action”, giving surgeries to over 3,000 poor patients successively in Qinghai, Tibet, Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang, etc. As part of the “2010 China-Africa Brightness Action” more than 600 patients with cataracts in Zimbabwe and Malawi were cured.