COTONOU, Benin -- A Chinese medical team of ophthalmologists from China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region launched a project to provide free cataract surgeries in Benin on Tuesday.
The project, launched in the country's southern city of Cotonou, is one of the outcomes of Beninese President Patrice Athanase Guillaume Talon's visit to China in September and aims to implement the bilateral cooperation documents signed between the two countries in health care.
Under the project named "Marche vers la lumière" (Walk towards Light), the six-member Chinese ophthalmology medical team will carry out free surgeries for 200 cataract patients in the Mono-Couffo Departmental Hospital Center in Benin's southwestern city of Lokossa.
Addressing the launching ceremony, Beninese Health Minister Benjamin Hounkpatin said that the project was in line with the development of medical and surgical centers of excellence in Benin.
"This cooperation project is not only an excellent opportunity for health professionals to share experiences, but also a chance to meet a large number of cataract surgery needs," he said.
The project will also allow the donation of equipment and consumables needed for cataract surgery, said Chinese Ambassador to Benin Peng Jingtao.
All the equipment for the operation will be supplied by the Chinese side and donated to the Mono-Couffo Departmental Hospital Center to set up a modern ophthalmological diagnosis and treatment center at the hospital.
China sent its first medical team to Benin in 1978. To date, 616 Chinese doctors have performed some 75,000 operations and treated more than 3 million Beninese patients.