Seeing is believing in people

Local | Bernard Charnwut Chan 25 Apr 2018

I had the privilege recently of meeting someone who may not be a household name here in her hometown of Hong Kong but whose work and dedication have transformed thousands of people's lives elsewhere.

She is Dr Joyce Samoutou-Wong.

After schooling in Hong Kong and getting a scholarship to study in the United Kingdom, she studied medicine at Edinburgh University.

She could have continued to have a conventional and probably successful career in medicine back in Hong Kong, in Britain or somewhere where life is pretty good. Instead, she got out of the comfort zone and started to work on humanitarian projects around the world.

In Uzbekistan, she ran a mobile clinic and created a program to teach thousands of local people basic medical skills. In 2006, she and husband Henri started an eye center at a missionary hospital in a jungle region of Gabon in Africa. That center has gone on to treat

thousands of patients a year.

They then started the charity New Sight Eye Care and moved with their three children to a rural region of the neighboring Republic of Congo. There they launched a comprehensive eye-care center, which includes surgical facilities. They are now working on expanding that center.

As well as improving and restoring vision, the project trains nurses and other workers - including former patients who promote the benefits of treatment among sometimes suspicious local communities.

Dr Wong deservedly won Hong Kong's Women of Hope Award for 2017.

Bernard Charnwut Chan is chairman of The Jockey Club CPS Advisory Committee

standard@bernardchan.com

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