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Professor Sun Xinghuai talks about the international development cooperation between China and Africa in the field of eye health丨WOC 2022

Posting time:2023-01-31 10:20:09

Professor Sun Xinghuai talks about the international development cooperation between China and Africa in the field of eye health丨WOC 2022

Editor's note: After unremitting efforts, China has made great progress in eye health management, but looking at the world, people in many countries and regions are still suffering from vision impairment. The world is a big family, and all parties support each other in times of difficulty. For many years, Chinese ophthalmologists have been adhering to the concept of "vision without borders" to provide assistance to other developing countries. At the 38th World Ophthalmology Congress (WOC 2022), Professor Sun Xinghuai introduced in detail the international development cooperation between China and Africa in the field of eye health, which broadened the horizons of ophthalmologists. Challenges in the field of eye health in African countries The eye health situation in African countries is very serious. Africa has 10% of the world's population and 24% of the disease burden, but its health resources only account for 1% of the world's health resources, and health-related staff account for 3% of the world's total. %, and the total number of doctors is also less than 1% of the total number of doctors in the world. About 4.8 million people are blind and 16.6 million are visually impaired. From the perspective of the global distribution of ophthalmic diseases, the multiple eye disease in more developed countries is age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and the multiple eye disease in less developed countries is cataract (Figure 1). Figure 1. Global distribution of eye diseases Africa has poor access to eye health services, a huge gap in the number of staff related to eye health services (Figure 2), a low cataract recovery surgery (CSR) rate for millions of people (Figure 3), and a high rate of optometry. very low. Figure 2. There is a huge gap in the number of staff related to eye health services in Africa. Figure 3. Overview of CSR levels. Helping each other - medical assistance and activities from China. Although China and Africa are separated by vast oceans and thousands of miles apart, the exchanges between the two sides have a long history and become stronger over time. Africa is the main recipient of China's foreign aid. Since its establishment in 1949, the People's Republic of China has been adhering to the spirit of internationalism and humanitarianism, supporting other developing countries, especially in helping African countries to improve people's living standards and achieve development. Even more support. China has been committed to helping recipient countries improve medical and health conditions by building infrastructure, building hospitals, medical and health centers, and treatment centers for blindness prevention, as well as providing medicines and medical supplies, dispatching medical teams, and conducting special medical activities (Figure 4). ). Figure 4. In April 1963, China sent its first medical team to Algeria to help build eye health infrastructure in Africa. Over the years, China has helped Congo, Gabon, Rwanda, Niger, Mozambique and other African regions to build eye health infrastructure (Figure 5, Figure 6, Figure 7, Figure 8), and continue to assist equipment and dispatch medical teams. Figure 5. In June 2006, the China-Congo Friendship Hospital was completed, with a construction area of ​​9,000 m² and a total of 150 beds. It is the first modern general hospital in Kinshasa, Congo. Figure 6. In September 2011, the Masaka Hospital in Rwanda was completed, with a construction area 6200m², with a total of 100 beds, patients from neighboring countries, Tanzania, Burundi, etc. Figure 7. In December 2018, the eye center in the Republic of Congo was completedFigure 8. In October 2016, the Niger General Hospital was completed, with a construction area of ​​33,000m² and a total of 500 beds . Carrying out a special medical activity to light up the horizon Experts from the Chinese medical aid team in Africa have carried out a special medical activity in Africa - Operation Bright. As of 2019, a total of 10,000 patients around the world have recovered their vision through "Operation Bright" (Figure 9). Figure 9. "Bright Action" photo to help cultivate high-end talents in eye health services in Africa It is better to teach them how to fish than to teach them how to fish. Chinese ophthalmologists have not neglected the help in capacity building. In order to help African countries cultivate more talents in the field of eye health services, Ho Eye Hospital provided African students with a simulator-based cataract surgery training course. Nine students from African countries including Ghana, Zimbabwe and Nigeria participated in the project. Academic activities such as the "China-Africa Eye Health Forum" provide a formal dialogue platform between China and African countries, helping African countries to cultivate outstanding talents in the field of eye health services. Moving forward hand in hand - the future prospects of China-Africa eye health development cooperation. The future goals of China's international development cooperation include contributing to the global community of health for all, promoting the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and enhancing cooperation capacity. China will do its best to support developing countries in their fight against COVID-19, help developing countries improve their public health systems, and support the World Health Organization and other international organizations to play a key role. The specific action plan is as follows. "China-Africa Eye Health Forum" will continue to be held. The forum is hosted by the Chinese Eye Hospital. Which strategies will continuously improve the overall service capacity of eye health in African countries. In 2022 the forum will be held in Addis Ababa in October. Continue to carry out infrastructure construction plans to establish a China-Egypt Friendship Eye Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and establish vision centers in different countries, responsible for consultation and treatment of complex eye diseases, and enable innovative technologies and ophthalmology-related training. Provide "grounded" and innovative devices Create reproducible, low-cost and innovative devices for school-aged children with a portable AI-based refractive error device. Continue to strengthen capacity building The National Blindness Prevention Training Center of China (hosted by He's Ophthalmology) will continue to provide short-term training courses (onsite and online) in eye surgery, optometry, management, etc. The university will continue to enroll 200~300 African students and provide high Quality degree programs. Emphasis on human resources training to conduct cataract training for African ophthalmologists. With the support of the China International Development Cooperation Agency, He's Ophthalmology will provide online and on-site cataract training to another 20 ophthalmologists from African countries in 2022.

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