Ambassador Koroma spoke on Friday, 26th August, 2016 in Chengdu City, Sichuan Province, at the signing ceremony of ‘China-Sierra Leone Africa Brightness For Free Project” with Aidi Eye Hospital.
It would be recalled that two weeks ago, the Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone and the Government of Sierra Leone, through the Minister of Health and Sanitation signed an agreement on behalf of their governments for Chinese Ophthalmologist team to carry out Cataract Surgery in Sierra Leone.
The ‘China-Sierra Leone Africa Brightness For Free’ agreement with Aidi Eye Hospital is spearheaded by the Embassy in China and is expected to be implemented after the initial signed MoU Between health ministry and the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone.
The programme also works towards strengthening cooperation through blindness prevention and treatment, with the Aidi Eye Hospital sending a medical team to Sierra Leone to perform free cataract surgery.
Speaking, Ambassador Koroma said, he was happy that the programme was revived by Dr. Yao Xiaoming (Professor and Chief Physician in ophthalmology and post graduate tutor of Jinan University) and Mariatu Kargbo, a Sierra Leonean celebrity in China, since it was started three years ago, but could not make progress due to some challenges at the time, amongst them the ebola outbreak. “So we have to thank Dr. Yao and Mariatu for their cooperation with the Embassy in reviving the programme and for their support”, he said.
The Embassy, he assured, would work closely with the hospital for the arrival of the team of doctors to Sierra Leone, to perform the free cataract surgery, at a date to be determined. “We stand ready to cooperate, collaborate and facilitate efforts that could see this cooperation grow.”
Though this is the first phase of the partnership, he called for “exchange visits by specialists from Aidi Hospital to Sierra Leone and short term trainings for Ophthalmic Nurses and Health Professionals from Sierra Leone.”
Ambassador Koroma also thanked the hospital management for facilitating the donation of 1pac of C30 Emergency/Transport Monitor and 2pcs of CM600 6-channal Electrocardiograph machines to by Shenzhen Comen Medical Instruments Co. Ltd, Sierra Leone, through the Embassy.
In her statement, Chief Executive Officer of Aidi Eye Hospital, Zhang You said, she was happy that they have been invited by the Embassy to conduct the free cataract surgery in Sierra Leone, assuring of the departure of the medical team, when a date shall have been agreed on.
She pledged their continued commitment to work closely with the Embassy for better cooperation, assuring of their dedication to performing their duties diligently.
The appointment of Mariatu Kargbo as Aidi Eye Hospital’s Goodwill Ambassador climaxed the signing ceremony.
Aidi Eye Hospital, according to a released official brochure, is a large-scale international hospital that is specialized in ophthalmology, with a RMB 150 million and in possession of 200 planned beds and over 160 professional medical, technical and nursing staff.
The hospital’s programme in Sierra Leone shall be the first in Africa.
John Baimba Sesay
Sierra Leone Embassy-China