Business / Companies

HNA brings light to blind with 'Bright Action' awareness program

By Wang Wen (China Daily) Updated: 2014-10-29 07:11

HNA Group, the parent company of Hainan Airlines, has become the first company to be awarded a special award for its contribution to the Bright Action Program, a project that promotes blindness prevention and provides eye disease treatment.

The program was initiated in 2003 by the National Blindness Prevention Guidance Group, an NGO under the guidance of the Ministry of Health.

Its first project, the HNA-Qinghai-Tibet Plateau 10-year Bright Action program, was started in Qinghai province in July 2004.

Bright Action targets mainly people in remote areas, especially those living in places that have limited access to communications and medical services.

Over the past decade more than 80 different groups of 500 medical staff have been sent to the areas, and conducted 31,242 operations.

It is estimated that 100,000 residents have been screened for eye disease and more than 30,000 cataract patients have undergone eyesight recovery surgery.

The program offers training to local medical staff members, too, and builds better facilities offering eye care.

Since 2008, the program has also spread overseas to countries in Asia and Africa, including the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Vietnam, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

More than 20,000 foreign patients suffering cataracts in those countries have been given free operations to help recover eyesight.

HNA Group has so far injected more than 30 million yuan ($4.9 million) into the program and provided eyesight recovery treatment for about 5,300 cataract patients in China and Africa, under the guidance of the National Blindness Prevention Guidance Group and Beijing Tongren Hospital.

Chen Feng, the chairman of HNA, said that its efforts on Bright Action "will continue in future".

As well as providing funds, the company has encouraged many of its staff to become involved as volunteers, five of whom were also recognised with individual awards as part of the charity's 10th anniversary celebrations.

Wang Weibao, one of the five, has travelled to remote areas three times with medical teams, and has also helped on various projects.

"I am touched by the level of care the organization offers," Wang said.

Wu Feng, another HNA staff member, has been to Africa to work for Bright Action and said it was hard to imagine how poor many of the people are there, and how much they need medical assistance.

From Aug 23 to Sept 3, 24 medical workers and 15 volunteers from HNA Group were sent to Qinghai and Sichuan provinces to aid 538 cataract patients.

HNA brings light to blind with 'Bright Action' awareness program

HNA brings light to blind with 'Bright Action' awareness program

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