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Chinese medical team treats over 20,000 Sierra Leonean patients during one-year mission

Source: Xinhua | 2024-02-24
Chinese medical team treats over 20,000 Sierra Leonean patients during one-year mission

FREETOWN, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- The 24th batch of the Chinese medical team in Sierra Leone has provided care for more than 20,000 local patients during its one-year mission.

Chen Yongjun, head of the team, told Xinhua in an interview on Thursday that the team has carried out over 400 surgeries and trained many local medical staff during the period.

The team, which consists of 21 top-notch Chinese medical specialists from central China's Hunan Province, covers a range of areas from neurology to obstetrics and is scheduled to wrap up its mission in March after a replacement arrives.

Describing the work as "challenging," Chen said the Sierra Leone-China Friendship Hospital, where the team is based, has long suffered from a lack of electricity, water and medical equipment, a difficult problem shared by many other hospitals across the country.

"Despite all the challenges, we have completed the mission and won respect from Sierra Leonean counterparts and patients," Chen said.

Melrose During, charge nurse of the hospital's maternity unit, told Xinhua that Chinese doctors always stand ready to reach out and help locals.

"Patients trust them and feel good when they come in. When I have difficult cases, I call them, and I have learned so much," said During.

Qin Fanghua, a team member, told Xinhua that she enjoys mingling with local patients and residents while fulfilling her duty as a nurse in the children's ward.

"I will miss everything in Sierra Leone after I leave," Qin added.

China dispatched its first medical team to Sierra Leone in 1973 and has since sent a total of 24 teams, contributing to the improvement of the health sector in the West African country.

In December 2023, Sierra Leonean President Julius Maada Bio posted a tweet on X, formerly Twitter, saying, "I expressed our deep gratitude to the Chinese medical team for their commitment to improving the country's healthcare service delivery."