At the 4th National Youth Volunteer Service Project Contest on Dec. 2, the “Mobile Eye Surgery Unit”, SAHZU’s youth volunteer service project, was awarded the national golden prize out of about 600 projects from all over China.
Candidate projects demonstrated their achievements at the Contest by public review and oral defense, all competing for the highest honor for their volunteer work. The project of SAHZU, “Mobile Eye Surgery Unit” standing out among all the 600 projects with its 22 years’ devoted service secured the golden prize at the end.
First launched in 1996, the “Mobile Eye Surgery Unit” project so far has totally served about 200,000 patients. It is now the most experienced youth volunteer project of its kind in China. Project members have traveled to provinces including Qinghai, Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Guizhou, Gansu, Ningxia, Shanxi etc. with a total distance of over 500,000 kilometers. The Unit performs not only free eye surgeries but also cataract screening, consultation, education, training and other medical activities, which contributed greatly to the prevention and treatment of cataract in those areas. Up to now, 11,436 cataract surgeries have been completed for free by the Unit. 200,000 patients benefit from free consultation and cataract education. Besides performing operations, the Unit also gives training courses to local doctors and helps local hospitals to set up eyesight restoration institutions, making sure local people could treat themselves for long term. With the project’s help, 35 eyesight restoration institutions have been founded and 400 local doctors and nurses have received related training.