• December 18, 2023

China Dispatches Fist China Medical Team to Sierra Leone

China Dispatches Fist China Medical Team to Sierra Leone
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By Alusine Fullah

The Chinese medical teams to Sierra Leone have made constant contributions to improving the country’s medical service over the past 50 years, Sierra Leonean Health Minister Austin Demby has said.

Speaking at a photo exhibition to mark the 50th anniversary of China sending its first medical team to Sierra Leone on Wednesday, Demby said the training provided by the Chinese medical teams to local medical staff is important and constant progress has been made over the years.

Describing China as “a true friend indeed” to Sierra Leone in both good and challenging times, the Minister of Health, Demby called on China to continue to help strengthen the country’s health sector. The exhibition showcased hundreds of photos featuring Chinese medical teams working together with local counterparts to treat patients at various times.

According to the head of the 24th Chinese Medical Team to Sierra Leone, Chen Yongjun noted: “Over the years, Chinese doctors have been actively involved in preventing and treating infectious diseases and common illnesses, and we have also brought many cutting-edge technologies and traditional Chinese medical therapies to the country.”

“This event not only demonstrated the achievements of China’s medical assistance, but also showed the long-standing cooperation between China and Sierra Leone,” Chen added. Chen said that nine months into the mission, the current team has performed 320 surgical operations, treated more than 15,000 patients, and provided free medical service on six trips to local communities, benefiting around 1,000 residents.

The year 2023 marks the 50th anniversary since China began to send its first medical team to developing countries in 1963. By June 2023, China has sent medical teams to 76 countries and regions in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe, and Oceania with a total of about 30,000 medical personnel, built more than 130 medical and health facilities, and treated 300 million patients, with African countries being the major recipient countries.

The work of the Chinese medical teams (CMTs) has won warm support from local people, consolidated the traditional friendship between China and various developing countries. In 2023, President Xi Jinping summed up the spirit of CMT incisively for the first time as: “defying hardships and dangers, dedicating selflessly, saving lives and healing the wounded, spreading boundless love.”

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