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Chinese doctors carry out operations to restore sight

But the 59-year-old man leapt with joy last week after his sight was restored by a team of Chinese doctors, who are currently in the country offering free cataracts operations to disadvantaged members of the community.


Makahamadze, who hails from Honde Valley in Manicaland province, is one of the people who had their sight restored after a successful eye operation at Chitungwiza General Hospital last week.
“My life is now back to normal, I can feed my family again and see my beautiful wife.”

The operation has become the bond that cements Makahamadze’s relationship with the Chinese. 
“I used to hate these Chinese people because of their unreliable products but from today onwards they are now my friends because they have restored my sight,” he said.

Makahamadze’s previous efforts to have his sight restored failed because he could not raise the money that hospitals were demanding.

Another beneficiary, Enock Mutanga of Bulawayo said he had had problems with one of his eyes for the past four years.

The 55-year-old said his right eye lost sight in 2008 but he could not have the problem rectified due to lack of funds.

“When I heard of the free treatment programme, I decided to try my luck. Fortunately it worked out for me because I am now able to see with both my eyes,” Mutanga said.

Chitungwiza General Hospital ophthalmologist, Dr Boniface Macheke, said the free eye operation programme was a continuation of the one which was carried out last year in November, which saw 317 patients being operated on.

“This Bright Journey camp programme is a follow-up programme which is targeting at operating 500 patients as the resources are only allowing that number,” he said.

The programme, which is being funded by Anjin, a construction and mining company, comprises four Chinese doctors and three nurses.

Macheke said more that 50% of the patients who were operated on their eyes were elderly.

He added that people who are diabetic were more prone to developing cataracts in their lives.

“One in every six patients who had the operation last week was diabetic which means that the disease must be monitored,” he said.

Other people develop eye problems due to the nature of their jobs or chemicals they come into contact with in their daily routines.

Government hospitals do not have enough Chaco machines, equipment which is used to operate cataracts, while private clinics charge exorbitant prices.

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