|Manipur commerce and industries minister Govindas Konthoujam (in blue coat) with the team from Shija
Hospitals in Imphal on Tuesday. Picture by UB Photos
Imphal, Dec. 24: On a mission to provide vision, an 11-member team from Shija Hospitals and Research Institute here left for Myanmar today.
The team, which has embarked on Mission Myanmar Journey for Sight, will perform more than 200 cataract blindness surgeries over three days, beginning Thursday, at Myanmar government’s General Hospital at Monywa in Sagaing region. Over 1.8 million people in the neighbouring country are estimated to be suffering from cataract blindness.
The team, headed by Kh. Palin, the managing director of the hospital, was flagged off by commerce and industries minister Govindas Konthoujam.
This is the second time the Shija team is performing free surgeries in Myanmar. In May this year, it had successfully conducted surgeries to correct deformed lips and palates of 87 patients at the same Myanmar hospital.
“It is a collaborative effort of the Manipur government, the office of the Indian consul-general in Myanmar and Shija Eye Foundation,” Palin said.
Shija’s healthcare services are well-known in Myanmar, where there is lack of such facilities. Myanmar patients regularly come to the hospital in Imphal for treatment.
Shija also has in sight the objective of developing health tourism in Manipur under the Look East policy. “The objective of Mission Myanmar is to enhance the existing relationship between the two nations and develop health tourism in Manipur. Our state could be a destination for health tourism,” Palin said.
Lauding the efforts of the hospital, Konthoujam said meeting and supporting each other would help develop relations and such a mission would certainly contribute a lot in doing so. Such missions could introduce Manipur to the world as was being done by the state’s art and culture, he said.
Palin urged both the Union and state governments to expedite the process of issuing visa on arrival and opening a passport office in Imphal. He said the hospital faced difficulties in getting passports for the mission team.
He claimed that feedback suggested that Manipur’s image had been elevated after the first mission to Myanmar.
Given the response during the first mission, the hospital is planning to send another mission for correcting cleft lips and palates. In May, the team could not perform surgeries for all the patients who turned up because of time constraints, Palin said.
He sought full cooperation of the government to make future missions of the hospital a success.