eye cataract surgery 22.09.10.jpgMore than 160 people from across the country have so far successfully undergone cataract surgery at Chitungwiza Hospital under the ‘Brightness Project’ which commenced on Saturday.

 

The usually quiet Eye Unit at Chitungwiza Central Hospital has been turned into a hive of activity as people with eye ailments from across the country are coming for free eye surgeries that are being conducted by a team of 3 Chinese eye specialists.

When the ZBC News crew visited the hospital on Monday afternoon, 166 people had been attended to and had their eyesight restored after undergoing cataract removal surgery.

The beneficiaries, some who came from as far as Guruve, Mt Darwin and Masvingo, commended the cordial relations that exist between the Chinese and the Zimbabwean governments that has made it possible for the doctors to volunteer their time to come and assist local people, while at the same time sharing their expertise with local doctors.

“We are grateful of these specialists for assisting us but most importantly, we applaud the good relations that exist between the Chinese government and Zimbabwe, which have made this initiative possible,” said one beneficiary.

Leader of the Chinese team, Dr Zhu Siquan, who was speaking through an interpreter said besides the language barrier between his team and the local health personnel, everything is flowing smoothly.

Some of the patients have had cataracts for a very long time. Everything is moving fast even though there is language barrier. We are happy to be here and assisting Zimbabweans,” Dr Zhu said.

The team of Chinese doctors is being assisted by local health practitioners, and Dr Archie Kufa, who is the leader of the Zimbabwean team, expressed satisfaction with the progress made to date.

“The actual process does not take much time, at least three to five minutes but we have come across a few who became agitated. But everything is in order and we are pleased with the progress made so far,” said Dr Kufa.

The Chinese doctors, who conducting eye surgeries for free, are in the country courtesy of the Chinese government and a Chinese company who sponsored their trip.

In Zimbabwe, undergoing eye surgery costs between US$800 to US$1500 at private hospitals and those that cannot afford, have to wait for their turn at Sekuru Kaguvi Eye Unit at Parirenyatwa Hospital.