Zambia honors Chinese medical team for exemplary work

LUSAKA — The Zambian government on Monday honored the 19th Chinese Medical Team for their exemplary work during their tour of duty in the southern African nation.

All the 28 members of the team, who have been in Zambia since May last year, were presented with the awards during a ceremony attended by senior Zambian government officials as well as officials from the Chinese embassy.

Chitalu Chilufya, Zambia's Minister of Health said the government was happy to honor the doctors who worked diligently to strengthen health systems in the country.

He said the doctors worked diligently during their tour of duty as evidenced in improved service delivery in the four hospitals where they were stationed in.

Zambia and China, he said, have developed cordial relations in the last 40 years in the health sector which has resulted in the improvement of both infrastructure in the sector and capacity building of health personnel.

"We would like to express our gratitude to the team for helping in strengthening our health system. Since 1978, Zambia and China have collaborated in the health sector," he said.

Chen Shijie, Charge d'Affaires at the Chinese Embassy, said the Chinese medical doctors who have been serving in Zambia over the years have gained the respect of the government because of their high professional skills and good medical ethics.

Since 1978, China has dispatched a total of 515 doctors to Zambia, he added.

The Chinese envoy said after 40 years of reform and opening up, China has achieved remarkable progress in the health sector and was committed to work with Zambia to promote the country's medical and health industry.

The Chinese medical team, he said, helped to train a group of high-level medical staffs in Zambia by clinical teaching, academic lectures, and mutual expert visits, which helped in bringing traditional Chinese medical treatment methods and advanced medical ideas.

Qi Zuhong, team leader of the medical team, said the doctors have helped in promoting the cooperation and exchanges in health care between the two countries.

The team, he said, worked well with their Zambian counterparts in saving lives of people in the country through upholding the spirit of sincerity, affinity and good faith.

According to him, by the end of April 2018, 15,275 patients were treated, 726 operations performed by surgeons, 3,080 anesthesia operations performed while 392 critically ill patients were rescued.

The medical team also helped train 352 local medical personnel at the hospitals, he said, adding that the team also donated medication and medical equipment worth more than $120,000.