25th March 2023 – (Djibouti) The GX Foundation, a non-governmental and non-profit Chinese charity organisation, has successfully completed the first phase of its cooperation with an ophthalmic medical team from north China’s Shanxi Province in Djibouti, Africa. Over 350 cataract patients in the Red Sea nation have regained their eyesight through free surgeries, marking the first stop for the foundation’s project in Africa. The project aims to eliminate cataract blindness in countries along the Belt and Road by sending medical teams from various Chinese provinces to perform free surgeries.
Founded in 2018 and registered in Hong Kong, the GX Foundation has launched the Cataract Blindness Elimination Project in collaboration with Chinese mainland health authorities. As of mid-March 2023, the project has performed over 1,500 cataract surgeries worldwide, including in Laos, Cambodia and Djibouti. The foundation is committed to eliminating the accumulation of cataract cases in countries along the Belt and Road, while imparting medical technology and public health knowledge to the locals.
Emily Chan, CEO of GX Foundation, emphasises the foundation’s use of Hong Kong’s international strengths to create a platform for professionals and young people from both Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland who wish to participate in international humanitarian relief work. Caroline Dubois, a Hong Kong-Swiss mixed-race girl, is one such individual who chose to join the foundation after five years with the Global Alliance for Vaccine Immunisation in Geneva, Switzerland. Dubois highlights the foundation’s delivery of high-level medical technology and materials from Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland, stating that “Every surgery performed helps a patient see again, which is very rewarding.”
The Chinese Ambassador to Djibouti, Hu Bin, recognises the GX Foundation’s impact, stating that the NGO from Hong Kong is a new force for cooperation between China and Djibouti in the health sector. During the project’s launch in Djibouti, Hu noted that the project responded to the urgent medical needs of the Djiboutian people, vividly putting into practice the concept of building a community of common health for mankind.
Apart from performing free cataract surgeries in Djibouti, the foundation also donated solar-powered mosquito control lamps to locals and taught them about preventing infectious diseases. This initiative is to help combat malaria outbreaks caused by poor public health conditions and water quality. The GX Foundation believes that its ongoing work will promote people-to-people exchanges with countries along the Belt and Road, bringing about shared benefits, a principle featured in the Belt and Road Initiative.
Following its successful completion of Phase 1 of the Cataract Blindness Elimination Project in Djibouti, the GX Foundation plans to extend its efforts to Mauritania and Senegal later this year. These countries in West Africa will also benefit from free cataract surgeries, medical technology and public health knowledge. The foundation remains committed to its mission of eliminating cataract blindness in countries along the Belt and Road, promoting people-to-people exchanges, and improving public health conditions through medical relief work.