New Life in Caring Hands

28 June 2002

Chairman Li, Director Zhu, Vice Minister Wei, Vice Minister Huang, Professor Ba, Secretary Li, Vice-Chancellor Li, Dean Chung, Professor Zhao, President Xu, Secretary Xie, Vice President Li, Professor Lam, Director Tang, university officers, council members, distinguished guests and friends:

Over three years in the making, the Joint Shantou International Eye Center (JSIEC) is officially unveiled today. The JSIEC is the Shantou University Medical College’s Fifth Affiliated Teaching Hospital, providing a world-class center of ophthalmology for treatment, training and education. It is a great pleasure to be here today to celebrate this grand occasion, and I wish to thank all of you for taking time out to attend this ceremony. I would also like to wish the 4th International Symposium of Ophthalmology, organized by the JSIEC, every success.

It is said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. I think blindness is a most horrible disability. Giving blind people the ability to see again and the opportunity to lead a new life is a deeply rewarding undertaking. One of the most important objectives of the JSIEC is the promotion of corneal donations. We Teochews have always been very helpful to one another. I hope that we can cast off any conservative or backward notions about corneal donations. We guarantee that the corneas will be put to good use. We also hope that Shantou Government officials will support this initiative wholeheartedly. With all the distinguished guests from home and abroad attending the opening of the JSIEC, we can all cooperate in changing the traditional thinking about corneal donations.

Having the opportunity to work with you on the JSIEC was a great pleasure and privilege. I take this opportunity now to thank Professor Arthur Li, the Vice Chancellor of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, for his tremendous support. And President Xu Xiaohu and Vice President Li Yuguang for their determined efforts. The Chinese University’s Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences has gained worldwide recognition. Professor Dennis Lam’s tireless efforts over the past three years in leading his team on the planning and development of this project, and on the training of the medical personnel are highly commendable. Professor Lam and his team from the Chinese University of Hong Kong deserve a big round of applause. I also wish to commend Director Tang Huiming and the staff of the JSIEC for their hard work. Director Tang’s accomplishments at the First Affiliated Hospital are well recognized. Now that she has taken up this important new post, I know that she will devote herself to this venture and achieve even greater success.

The JSIEC boasts the latest and most advanced equipment and facilities. But without a team of dedicated medical professionals, our resources would not be fully utilized and their true value would be lost. Thank you all again and best wishes for all possible success.