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  • Chris McMillan

Hospital train brings brightness to cataract patients in Xinjiang

In Korla, Bayingolin Mongol autonomous prefecture, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, there is a train painted with rainbows - the "Sinopec Lifeline Express" hospital train.

The train, tied down to a track beside the Korla East Railway Station, began medical services on May 17 this year. It offers free cataract surgeries for local patients in need.

Abliz Bawudun, 72, from Langan township of Korla, developed blurry vision two years ago. He also suffered from diabetes and high blood pressure. Treating the disease was a heavy economic burden for his family.

After the "Sinopec Lifeline Express" hospital train was put into use, it launched cataract screening tests for local residents, and the 72-year-old thus had a free cataract surgery on the train.

The hospital train is a charity project for cataract patients jointly set up by China's National Health Commission and the Chinese Foundation for Lifeline Express. Since 2002, Lifeline Express trains have made multiple trips to Xinjiang, offering free cataract surgeries for 11,220 patients in the autonomous region's Aksu, Kashgar, Korla, Kuytun, Kizilsu Kirgiz autonomous prefecture, and Ili Kazakh autonomous prefecture.

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