Since China sent its first medical team to aid Algeria in 1963, tens of thousands of Chinese medical personnel have embarked on their journey abroad, making solid contributions to global public health.
Over the past six decades, the country has dispatched over 30,000 medical personnel to 76 countries and regions across the world, providing medical services to nearly 300 million patients and helping build over 130 healthcare facilities, according to data from the National Health Commission.
Statistics also reveal that China’s medical teams dispatched abroad have trained over 100,000 local medical personnel, enhancing the healthcare expertise in these countries. So far, China has initiated pair-up cooperation with 48 medical institutions in 43 countries and regions.
During the past 60 years, more than 50 Chinese medical workers died during their aid missions overseas. Currently, Chinese medical teams, committed to building a global community of health for all, are braving various diseases in 56 countries around the world.
In November 2023, a Chinese medical team of ophthalmologists from northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region launched a project to provide free cataract surgeries in Benin.
Under the project, “Marche vers la lumière” (Walk towards Light), the six-member Chinese ophthalmology medical team is expected to carry out free surgeries for 200 cataract patients in the Mono-Couffo Departmental Hospital Center in Benin’s southwestern city of Lokossa.
All the equipment for the operation will be supplied by the Chinese side and donated to the Mono-Couffo Departmental Hospital Center to set up a modern ophthalmological diagnosis and treatment center at the hospital.
“This cooperation project is not only an excellent opportunity for health professionals to share experiences, but also a chance to meet a large number of cataract surgery needs,” said Beninese Health Minister Benjamin Hounkpatin at the launching ceremony.
Since China sent its first medical team to Benin in 1978, a total of 616 Chinese doctors have performed some 75,000 operations and treated more than 3 million Beninese patients.
In addition to treating local patients, Chinese medical teams have also shared their expertise and technologies with local doctors.
In December 2022, Zhu Jinwen began his medical aid mission in Lilongwe and other places in Malawi, one of the world’s least developed countries, in southeastern Africa.
Since February, Zhu and his teammates have been giving lectures in a special spinal surgery training program which was launched to help local doctors cope with the large number of orthopedic patients in the region.
Zhu told China Media Group that the training program can help improve the diagnosis and treatment skills of the local spine surgery team at the Kamuzu Central Hospital, a public hospital in Lilongwe. Doctors at the hospital have found the program valuable and helpful, saying they were very grateful for their Chinese counterparts.
Zhu, a member of the tenth batch of Chinese medical personnel dispatched to Malawi, is from northwest China’s Shaanxi Province. Since the province sent its first medical team to Sudan in 1971, a total of 47 batches comprising over 1,200 medical personnel have been sent abroad, treating more than 8.4 million patients.