KHARTOUM, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese medical team of eight members will conduct 250 free surgeries to Sudanese cataract patients at the Eye Hospital of Al-Nilain University in Khartoum, said Chinese Embassy in Sudan on Wednesday.
The Chinese aid program to Sudan, known as "Brightness Action 2018," was co-launched by Khartoum State's Health Ministry and the Economic and Commercial Counselor's Office of the Chinese Embassy in Sudan.
"We highly appreciate the deeply-rooted relationship between Sudan and China. We, at the Health Ministry, have greatly benefited from the cooperation with the Chinese Friendship Hospital, which provides a great work," said Mamoun Homeida, Khartoum state health minister, when addressing the launching ceremony.
He noted that Sudan's efforts to reduce eye diseases have achieved positive results, saying that "the blindness rate in Sudan dropped from 500,000 cases to 200,000 cases, and by 2020 it will drop to less than 1,000 case."
Zhou Chunlin, representative of Economic and Commercial Counselor's Office of the China Embassy in Sudan, for his part, said that the program "comes as part of the cooperation between China and Sudan."
He added that there has been a standing cooperation between the two countries in the health field, pointing out that since 1970, the Chinese government has sent 34 missions of Chinese medical experts to work in Sudan.
The visit of the Chinese medical team comes as part of a short-term medical assistance program that China implements in less-developed countries, where the team has previously conducted cataract surgeries for citizens of Sierra Leone, Senegal and Chad.