Press Releases

Prof. Dennis Lam appointed Director of STU/CUHK JSIEC

29 January 2003

The STU/CUHK Joint Shantou International Eye Centre (JSIEC) announced appointment of Prof. Dennis SC Lam as Director to replace the retiring Prof. Tang Huiming, founding Director of the institution. JSIEC was set up with RMB 70 million Yuan donation from the Li Ka-shing Foundation.


As a world-renowned ophthalmology authority, Prof. Lam is now Professor and Chairman of CUHK’s Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences as well as Honorary Chief-of-Service of the Hong Kong Eye Hospital. He is also visiting professor of a number of universities outside Hong Kong. Prof. Lam and Mr. Li Ka-shing share the same vision of eradicating blindness in China. Right from the planning stage, Prof. Lam has made significant contributions to the construction, medical treatment, education & training and research & development activities of the JSIEC. Last year, he performed the first retinal vein catheterization operation in China at JSIEC.


Prof. Lam pointed out that corneal problems are the main causes for visual impairment in the mainland. Hong Kong people, after years of civic education, are now more willing to donate their cornea upon decease. The Hong Kong Eye Bank is therefore able to fulfill its self-sufficient target. However, people in the Mainland are more reserved towards the idea of organ donation. Prof. Lam hopes to mobilize more mainlanders to promote corneal donations in China.


An Eye Bank has also been set up in the JSIEC. The corneal donation campaign is one of Dr Lam’s main focuses during his recent visit to Shantou. He invited experts to demonstrate lobbying techniques and provide training for donation coordinators. The coordinators will visit hospitals, schools and communities to explain the significance of corneal donation and lobby among the relatives of the deceased. The aim is to further encourage the Chinese people to be more generous in this respect and participate in the voluntary corneal donation program.


There are about 8 to 9 million cases of visual impairment in China, among which approximately 4 million are due to cataracts and about 1 million due to corneal disorders. The 23,000 eye surgeons all over China have to perform about 450,000 cataract operations annually. In addition to the existing 4 to 5 million cataract patients, 400,000 new cataract cases come up every year. Under such tremendous demand, there is an urgent need to train up more eye doctors.


Beijing and Shanghai have already built their own eye hospitals, whereas the development of ophthalmology has been relatively slow in southern China. As early as in 1991, Mr. Li Ka-shing has donated HK$100 million to the China Disabled Persons’ Federation to sponsor a range of services for the handicapped. Within 5 years, the donation has helped more than a million cataract patients in the Mainland to restore their eyesight. To further develop the services for ophthalmologic patients, Mr. Li proposed to set up a well-equipped Eye Centre in southern China. With the concerted efforts of medical professionals from Hong Kong and the Mainland, the JSIEC was completed after 3 years. It commenced operation last June as the latest affiliate hospital of the Shantou University Medical College. With an aim to provide comprehensive treatment for eye patients and the visually impaired, Li Ka-shing Foundation has allocated funding for infrastructure construction, medical equipment, research and development and personnel training of the hospital.


With world-class medical equipment, the JSIEC is a center of excellence for eye treatment in Southern China. It is able to perform a full range of optical surgeries, including complex retinal surgeries, vitrectomy, macular hole surgery, Epi-retinal membrane peeling, various Glaucoma surgeries and Laser photocoagulation.


The success of the JSIEC is attributed to the generous donation of Li Ka-shing Foundation as well as the joint efforts of all other parties. With their contribution, the JSIEC has been able to complete its first phase development within a short time and is expected to attain top international standard in the near future.


For more information, please visit:


Li Ka-shing Foundation :


Shantou University :


STU / CUHK Joint Shantou International Eye Centre :


29 Jan 2003