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Selfless Medical Teams Boost Healthcare in Developing Countries

Source: 科技日报 | 2023-11-27 15:28:53 | Author: 王晓夏

A Chinese doctor ofthe24th Chinese medical team to Tanzania is treating local patients and training interns. (PHOTO: XINHUA)

By Staff Reporters

A cup of red date soup soothes the agony of a wounded boy in Mali, and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) helps cure a range of diseases in Kuwait and other countries. These are among the many testimonials shared by doctors from Chinese medical teams, a humanitarian project that has been a great success for the past six decades.

China has sent more than 30,000 medical staff to 76 countries and regions around the world over a 60 year period. They have not only treated diseases with modern medicine and TCM, but also shared technology and experience with their local counterparts, trained medical teams and improved local public health conditions. 

Initially, in Kuwait people were skeptical about acupuncture, as they didn't believe that inserting needles into the skin could treat disease, said Liu Chun, chief physician of the Affiliated Hospital of Changchun University of Chinese Medicine. However this scepticism was soon set aside, said Liu as more local people became fans of TCM after seeing its success in treating common diseases and relieving pain. 

Liu added that Chinese fitness methods such as Tai Chi and Ba Duan Jin have gradually also become popular among local people, who are now getting a deeper understanding of China and Chinese culture. 

More importantly, Chinese medical teams have fundamentally improved local medical services by training local healthcare workers and building modern medicine institutions. 

In 2014, amid the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, Wang Zhenchang, vice president of Beijing Friendship Hospital, led the 24th Chinese medical team to Guinea to help control the Ebola epidemic and train public health physicians. Over a two month period of hard work, Wang and his colleagues trained more than 1,600 public health doctors for Guinea, and were granted the "Medal of the Republic of Guinea,” for their efforts.

“During the medical aid mission in Dominica, I realized the urgency to help improve local healthcare,” said Wu Dexi, deputy chief physician of cardiology from the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University. Wu has carried out a temporary cardiac pacemaker implantation, holter electrocardiogram monitoring and ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, all unprecedented in Dominica. 

Meanwhile, Wu has actively promoted the establishment of Dominica's first cardiovascular department, the Dominica-China Cardiovascular Imaging Center and the Dominica-China Telemedicine Center. The two state-of-the-art medical facilities will boost health service delivery for local residents. 

Editor: 王晓夏

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