Visiting Chinese Vice Premier, Mr. Wang Qishan, says the Bright Journey Eye Camp that is currently underway at Chitungwiza Hospital affirms continued co-operation between the two countries and is a clear demonstration of how deep the Sino-Zimbabwe friendship runs.
Hundreds of Chitungwiza residents and people who benefitted from the first phase were on hand to give the visiting Chinese Vice Premier and Vice President Joice Mujuru a rousing welcome for the official launch of the Bright Journey Eye Camp second phase currently underway at Chitungwiza Hospital.Â
After touring the hospital where he met some o0f the beneficiaries of the programme, Mr. Wang thanked the Zimbabwean government for nurturing a strong bond of friendship with his country.
Addressing the gathering, Vice President Mujuru said the illegal sanctions imposed on the country by Britain and her allies have eroded most of the achievements scored in the health sector since the country attained independence.
She bemoaned the state of equipment in most government institutions, saying most of it is now obsolete and in some cases unserviceable due to lack of spare parts.
â€œEfforts by government to replace the equipment have been in vain due to the illegal sanctionsâ€ she said.
She explained that shortage of equipment in the eye units has made it difficult for government to cope with the demand for cataract extraction within the country, yet about 15 thousand people in the country have eye cataracts that require surgery.
The Bright Journey Eye Camp is being conducted by 14 eye specialists from China in conjunction with the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare.
The health ministry later presented Mr. Wang with a token of appreciation for Beijing Tongren Hospital where the Chinese eye specialists are drawn from.
Several cabinet ministers who included Minister of Defence, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa, Minister of Foreign Affairs Cde Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, Minister of Health and Child Welfare Dr Henry Madzorera and his deputy Dr Douglas Mombeshora, service chiefs, Zimbabweâ€™s ambassador to China Cde Frederick Shava, Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr. Xin Shunkang and senior government officials were in attendance.
Meanwhile, Mr. Wang says the continued strengthening of Sino-Zim relations has potential to cultivate a long lasting economic legacy which will benefit future generations.
Mr. Wang was speaking at a dinner hosted for him and his delegation by Vice President Joice Mujuru on Monday evening.
â€œYour motto – unity, freedom and work has taken roots in the hearts of many and as your close friend, China is indeed happy with you. Looking back over the years our two people fought together and fostered profound friendship, looking ahead we have confidence of our co-operation.
â€œChina will work together with Zimbabwe to foster and strengthen practical co-operation which will benefit generation after generation,â€ he said.
The two countries are currently co-operating in political, economic technical and cultural fields as well as other sectors.
Vice President Mujuru expressed appreciation at the various loans extended by China to stimulate Zimbabweâ€™s economic recovery, including a US$200 million loan for procurement of agriculture equipment and a 60 million dollar loan for farm mechanisation.
She called upon Zimbabwean government officials to meet deadlines for joint projects with the Chinese government.
She said: â€œOne thing we were discussing is that China has money and Zimbabwe has resources and it is high time Zimbabwe took this opportunity and use it because sometimes we take too long to meet our deadlines and we wonder, are we the ones who need this help?â€
The visit by the Chinese Vice Premier and his delegation is greatly expected to foster political and economic ties through economic, technical co-operation.
Loan deals worth over US$700 million have been sealed by the two sides.
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