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Chinese cataract charity shifts focus to provide Covid equipment

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Frontline medical personnel during the vaccination at Phnom Penh's Chamkarmon district. Heng Chivoan

Chinese cataract charity shifts focus to provide Covid equipment

GX Foundation, a Hong Kong-based Chinese medical charity, handed over 20 tonnes of COVID-19 medical emergency relief equipment to Cambodia to help prevent Covid-19 infections.

“GX Foundation donated 300 oxygen concentrators, 1,000,000 surgical masks, 30,000 isolation gowns, 160,000 gloves, 10,000 safety goggles and 10,000 face shields,” GX Foundation said in a press release on July 7.

The equipment arrived in Phnom Penh on July 7 and a handover ceremony was held online, attended by Minister of Health Mam Bunheng; Chairman of GX Foundation Leung Chun-ying; China’s ambassador Wang Wentian; the chairman of the Hong Kong Business Association of Cambodia Yum Sui Sang, as well as other donors, partners and guests.

The press release said that relief supplies and equipment donations were not the primary mission of GX Foundation, whose major focus is on cataract blindness elimination. However, the foundation responded to the request from the Ministry of Health for emergency relief, with the spirit of international collaboration and a belief in the impact of humanitarian action.

“GX hopes that these emergency relief materials will help alleviate the burden of COVID-19 on the health care workers, Covid-19 patients and communities across Cambodia,” it said.

The press release said although Cambodia was successful in keeping cases of Covid-19 to close to zero throughout 2020, Cambodia has suffered a general outbreak of the virus in 2021.

“As cases continue to climb, the Cambodian government has been short on medical equipment and supplies needed in order to contain its spread, protect frontline medical personnel and to aid patients towards recovery in the absence of adequate treatment,” it said.

Health ministry spokeswoman Youk Sambath could not be reached for comment on July 7.

Established in 2018, GX Foundation is a Chinese non-profit, non-governmental organisation based in Hong Kong. It aims to provide humanitarian health assistance in the belt and road countries, responding to the call for “people to people” connectivity under the Belt and Road Initiative for International Cooperation.

GX Foundation and the Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Cambodia signed a Memorandum of Understanding in October 2019, entering into a 3-year partnership to eliminate the backlog of cataract-blind patients in Prey Veng province.

Two mobile eye treatment centres have been manufactured and are ready to serve this purpose when the Covid-19 pandemic situation in Cambodia is under control, said the GX Foundation. Medical experts from Guangxi autonomous region in China have already been recruited and trained to undertake this project to serve the people of Cambodia.


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