Project to help the hearing impaired in Laos

Writer: Zhang Yu  |  Editor: Zhang Chanwen  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2023-04-27

A project that will carry out genetic testing for hearing loss and donate hearing aids to impoverished people with hearing difficulties in Laos was launched at a themed event of the 2023 Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Week in Shenzhen on Tuesday.

The event aimed to further Shenzhen’s collaboration with the other five Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) countries, encourage more Shenzhen businesses and institutions to invest in and develop projects in these countries and enhance communication under the LMC framework.

Vanhpheng Saisomphou (C), consul general of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in Guangzhou, talks to local media in Shenzhen on Tuesday. Zhang Yu

With the help of the Lao Red Cross, Shenzhen will perform hearing loss genetic testing for 300 individuals from families with hereditary hearing impairment in Vientiane, the capital of Laos. At the same time, hearing aids will be distributed to 100 impoverished people with hearing impairment.

The project has been included in the first batch of demonstration projects of the Global Development Initiative of the China International Development Cooperation Agency, according to the event organizer.

Vanhpheng Saisomphou, consul general of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in Guangzhou, said the event will help expand cooperation between Shenzhen and the countries downstream of the Mekong River, which is known as Lancang River in China.

“Shenzhen is an advanced metropolis and a pioneer in China’s reform and opening up. The participation of Shenzhen would foster cooperation among the six LMC nations,” Saisomphou said, adding that Laos will work with Shenzhen to achieve more fruitful results.

According to the consul general, the opening of the China-Laos Railway has opened up new opportunities for collaboration between Shenzhen and LMC countries in terms of goods transportation and tourism.

According to official data, Shenzhen has so far invested and established a total of 223 enterprises and institutions in the other five LMC countries, with a total agreed investment of US$7.85 billion.

The event, which also featured two panel discussions, was hosted by the Shenzhen Municipal Foreign Affairs Office and organized by the Shenzhen Foundation for International Exchange and Cooperation.