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Chinese medical team treats thousands


Mohalenyane Phakela

AN eight-member team of Chinese medical specialists managed to reach over 14 000 patients in Lesotho during their deployment in the country from October last year till this past week.

Led by the team leader and acupuncturist, Zou Ran, the team of specialists that included a physician, orthopaedists, obstetricians, gynaecologists and radiologists offered free consultations and treatment for various prevalent diseases.

The team bade goodbye to Lesotho on Friday during a reception held at the Chinese Embassy in Maseru and attended by senior government officials including Health Minister Nyapane Kaya.

The event was also meant to welcome 12th eight-member team of Chinese medical specialists who will take over from the outgoing 11th team which arrived in Lesotho in October 2016.

Each year, the Chinese government sends a team of eight medical specialists to assist local doctors. The Chinese doctors are deployed at Motebang Hospital in Leribe from where they visit remote areas in the northern parts of the country such as Mokhotlong. They also donate groceries to the needy during their visits.

Since 1996, more than 130 Chinese doctors have been deployed to Lesotho to help in different hospitals.

Addressing the gathering, Mr Zou said they worked under tough conditions with outdated equipment and also had to contend with a language barrier.

“Our doctors from the obstetrics and gynaecology, orthopaedics and anaesthesia department overcame the difficulties of backward equipment and facilities, inadequate apparatus and risk of infection,” he said.

“Besides, most of the patients could not speak English which led to a large amount of time being spent on getting to know the patients’ condition.

“We also performed the traditional Chinese acupuncture through which we treated people from different areas including government officials such as the Deputy Prime Minister (Monyane Moleleki).”

Mr Zou said the team never complained as they worked long hours and catering for many patients.

“We, as the 11th Chinese Medical Team to Lesotho, reached 14 000 outpatients, 1 000 inpatients, 800 surgeries, 130 emergencies, 4 000 acupuncture treatments, 800 anaesthesia, 2 000 ultrasound examinations, 7 000 x-ray scanning and consultation as well as 100 CT and MRI consultations.”

The leader of the 12th medical team, Xu Xunghua, vowed to continue the good work done by the outgoing team.

“The 11th Chinese Medical Team has laid a good foundation for our future work and we feel quite honoured to be taking over from them.

“We will never be afraid of hard work and go an extra mile to ensure that we help patients. We are ready to fulfil our duties and help Basotho whilst also strengthening the relations between China and Lesotho.”

For his part, Mr Kaya paid tribute to the Chinese for the assistance they had rendered Basotho over the past 20 years, adding that they had reduced the number of referrals from the northern region to Queen ‘Mamohato Memorial Hospital.

“Over 20 years, specialized Chinese doctors have helped Lesotho with the skills and equipment we lack, saving many lives and improving the quality of life in Lesotho,” the minister said.

“This is a huge contribution and sacrifice as these doctors have to part ways with their families for 12 months only to see that we have a better life here in Lesotho.”

Mr Kaya added: “I would like to applaud their dedication to work under very challenging circumstances. Motebang Hospital has become a referral centre for other hospitals in the northern region, reducing the number of patients transferred to Queen ‘Mamohato Memorial Hospital.”


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