eye cataracts.jpg446 people have so far benefitted under the Bright Journey Eye Camp Phase 2 currently underway at Chitungwiza hospital.

The Chinese eye specialists are likely to surpass the 500 surgeries they had initially targeted under this programme.

By mid afternoon on the 5th day of the camp, 446 people had successfully undergone cataract extraction surgery.

Head of the Chinese doctors, Dr Zhu Siquan, who was speaking through an interpreter, said so far the surgeries have gone on smoothly with only the language barrier presenting a few challenges.

“Everything is okay but some people are presenting us with cases of glaucoma which requires a totally different procedure,” said Dr Zhu.

The Chinese doctors are conducting the surgeries in conjunction with some local eye specialists who include Dr Boniface Macheka, Dr Mathias Mukona from the Zimbabwe National Army and Dr Archie Kufa.

Dr Kufa said the programme has received overwhelming response, with people coming from all provinces of the country.

Some of the beneficiaries who had just undergone the cataract extraction surgery could not hide their joy and commended the Chinese government for its commitment to assisting the disadvantaged members of society.

Just like on the previous occasion, the Chinese doctors have brought in their own equipment and consumables.

At least 1% of the country’s population suffers from cataracts and half of the people have become blind as they cannot access cataract removal surgery in time.

Government institutions can only accommodate between 5 000 to 6 000 people annually against an estimated 15 000 people requiring cataract removal surgery.