MEDICAL Assistance Team is one of the Chinese development assistance modalities to Africa. Since sending its first medical team to Eritrea in September 1997, China has successively dispatched 8 medical teams of 150 person times to Eritrea by the end of 2014.
The 8th Chinese Medical Assistance Team, with 18 members including an interpreter, arrived in Eritrea at the end of May, 2013. They are now respectively working in Orotta Hospital (9 doctors), Halibet Hospital (6 doctors), the Physical Therapy Center (1 doctor) and the Berhan Aini Ophthalmic Hospital (1doctor). Their diagnosis cover a wide range of cardiology, intensive care, Chinese medicine acupuncture, general surgery, nerve surgery, urology, maxillofacial surgery, orthopedics, ophthalmology, anesthesiology and radiology.
The China-Eritrea-jointly-constructed Orotta Hospital is one of the largest and best-conditioned hospitals in Eritrea. With all the input of constructions and some medical equipment funded by China and the medical training and mentoring activities conducted by the Chinese medical experts, the hospital is telling a story of friendship between the two peoples of China and Eritrea.
On December 30, 2014, one day before the New Year’s eve, the Chinese Ambassador to Eritrea Qiu Xuejun and his colleagues in the Embassy went to Orotta and Halibet Hospitals, calling upon the Chinese Medical Team members and learning about their work and life there.
Ambassador Qiu and his party visited the buildings, outpatient service and medical equipment of Orotta Hospital and had an informal discussion with the Medical Team members. While in the hospital, one could see the Chinese doctors shuttling in the corridor of the outpatient building, busy with their own work, making diagnoses and treating the patients with great patience. Some Chinese doctors had just walked out of the operation room.
The Chinese and the Eritrean doctors worked side by side and solved medical problems together. While some patients were waiting for the diagnoses with expectations in the waiting areas, one could see in the wards the satisfied smiles on the faces of the recovered. Seeing the above and looking further at the groups of statistical data of the treatment offered by the Medical Team, everything hidden becomes surfaced. The professionalism and dedication of the Chinese Medical Team have won the praise of local people.
Mr. Wang Zizhen, head of the Chinese Medical Team to Eritrea, says that by the end of December 20, 2014, the 8th Chinese Medical Team has made diagnoses and treatments on the outpatients for 16,942 person-times, the hospitalized patients for 11,589 person-times; traditional Chinese acupuncture and electro-therapy treatment on 35,966 cases; radiation reading of 33,218 films; a total of 12,380 sets of various kinds of surgeries.
Among them, the Chinese Medical Team in Orotta Hospital completed a surgery of the skull base holding and a surgery of huge craniopharyngioma and pituitary tumor, 3 huge meningioma surgeries, 5 glioma surgeries, which filled the gaps of the hospital’s medical history.
In Halibet Hospital, the Medical Team successfully implemented a skin-shorted and soft tissue coverage surgery, which set a record of the hospital. Since the Chinese government-aid Computed Tomography(CT) and Magnetic Resonance (MRI) equipment put in place in May 2014, the Chinese doctors have implemented 674 cases of CT scanning while they are giving guidance to the local doctors in their mastering the technologies of CT and MRI as soon as possible.
Ambassador Qiu said that, by overcoming the difficulties of leaving their families behind, altitude sickness and physical and psychological adjustment, group after group of the Chinese Medical Team members are devoting themselves enthusiastically to the international humanitarian causes. They are proactive practitioners of China’s foreign policy. With great dedication and highly-professionalized medical services, the Chinese Medical Team has made positive contribution in enhancing the health level of the Eritrean people and developing China-Eritrea relations. The Medical Team is welcomed by the Eritrean government and people.
Members of this Medical Team are: Wang Zizhen (Acupuncture), Liu Anxi (Interpreter), Yao Haimu (Cardiology), Wang Wenjie (Intensive Care), Zhu Shuaijie (Intensive Care), Yang Fang (Acupuncture), Zhang Yi (Urology), Xia Weiwei (Stomatology), Li Jing (Anesthesia), Jing Xiaosong (General Surgery), Niu Zhigang (Radiology), Li Taiping (Neurosurgery), Li Hongchao (Neurosurgery), Hu Jiao (General Surgery), Wu Qiang (Anesthesia), Zhang Yi (Urology), Zheng Changshui (Orthopaedics), Hu Hongge (Ophthalmology). They are dispatched by the Health and Family Planning Commission of China’s Henan Province, respectively from the key hospitals at the province and city levels.
With all that they have done, the Chinese Medical Team to Eritrea deserves the title of “Angel in White” and have cast a monument in the hearts of Eritrean people.