Chinese father, son share service in Rwanda

Updated: May 11, 2023 Print
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Jia Jianhong was talking to patients in a hospital in Rwanda on May 4, 2023. [Photo provided to]

Retired pediatrician Jia Cen, 83, served in Rwanda 30 years ago as part of China's medical assistance program. Today, his son Jia Jianhong, 54, is part of the 23rd Chinese medical team sent to the African country, working as a translator.

Both father and son are from People's Hospital in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the first dispatching of Chinese medical teams to foreign countries. Among the Chinese doctors are stories of two generations, such as that of Jia Cen and Jia Jianhong.

Jia Cen applied for the sixth round of medical teams sent to Rwanda in 1991. He arrived in the country in April 1992 and stayed for two years. The team completed its work and returned to China via Tanzania in April 1994.

The elder Jia is proud to see his son continuing his work. He always told his son to give full play to his expertise and become a bridge of friendship between the Chinese and African people.

Jia Jianhong arrived in Rwanda in December for a one-year aid mission, together with 14 other team members. They have provided diagnosis and treatment of Rwandans, funded poor children and held various activities, such as Chinese Anesthesia Week.

Jia found that Rwanda had undergone remarkable changes compared with what his father had described. From time to time, he talks with his father via video call and shares the changes and new views in the country.


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