COLOMBO, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese medical team has arrived in Sri Lanka to donate 500 cataract surgeries to local patients, a statement released by Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka, said on Monday.
Organized by "Brightness journey of lifeline express 2016", the Chinese Embassy said that over 300 patients had already undergone surgeries by the Chinese medical team at the Kalutara General Hospital, in the southern coast of Sri Lanka.
At the launch of the ceremony, Sri Lanka's Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said China was Sri Lanka's true and close friend who supported the development of the island country.
In addition to aid and invest, China has also offered support to Sri Lanka's medical and health sectors, Senaratne said.
"This project will bring hope and brightness to many cataract patients in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka welcomes more cooperation and exchange in medical and health areas with China in the future," Minister Senaratne said.
Yi Xianliang, China's Ambassador to Sri Lanka, speaking at the ceremony said that the 'Brightness journey of lifeline express 2016', confirmed the sincere and mutual assistance shared between China and Sri Lanka.
Currently, China donates heavily and provides human resources to Sri Lanka's Health sector, the Ambassador said.
Zhang Shunhua, Associate Professor from Peking Union Medical College Hospital, told Xinhua that the Chinese medical team plans to conduct 500 cataract surgeries in Sri Lanka.
"From assistance by the Sri Lankan side, over 300 surgeries have already been completed for now," she said.
According to statement, the 'Lifeline Express' project was launched in China in 1997. Its overseas medical charity started from this year.
The project aims to help the poor patients of friendly countries of China, and to push forward cooperation and exchange.
Sri Lanka is the first overseas pilot of the project.