They leave but their love stays -- stories of Chinese doctors in Togo

Updated: Oct 31, 2023 Xinhua Print
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LOME -- "I've learned a lot from what Chinese doctors taught me. And my skills and abilities have improved greatly," said Movia, a midwife in Adeta who only gave her first name, once again extending her sincere gratitude to Chinese doctors over the phone.

Adeta is located in Togo's Plateau region, about 150 km north of Lome, Togo's capital. Five months ago, the 25th batch of the Chinese medical team came to the health center of this small town and provided technical assistance to more than 20 local medical staff, which covered gynecology and obstetrics, orthopedics, internal medicine and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

"There are only two registered doctors in Adeta health center, and the local medical equipment is extremely scarce, and their technique is relatively backward," Liu Yu, head of the 25th Chinese medical team to Togo, told Xinhua.

Take obstetrics and gynecology. All diagnoses and surgeries are performed by midwives, who actually assume the roles of doctors and nurses at once.

"Multiple difficulties have led to high neonatal mortality among local women during childbirth," Liu said.

After learning the local situation, the Chinese medical team made careful preparations for common and frequently-occurring diseases during the teaching, and combined theoretical lectures with on-site practical operations in the process of technical assistance.

As an obstetrician and gynecologist, Liu patiently explained hemostasis by compression and other skills to local midwives including Movia, and also shared with them the precautions for transporting patients in critical condition, which dispelled their doubts.

Such stories are just a microcosm of the Chinese medical team's work. According to Liu, since arriving in Lome in October 2022, the team has carried out seven technical assistance, lectures and academic exchanges, benefiting more than 2,000 people.

In addition, the Chinese medical team has also carried out nine free clinical consultations and treatments in several places, covering a total of 2,130 patients. Since its full operation in Lome Regional Hospital Center (CHR-Lome Commune) in August this year, the team has treated a total of 6,548 outpatients as of Oct. 20.

In August this year, Tian Shujie, a member of the Chinese medical team, gave a lecture on traditional Chinese medicine to the medical students of the University of Lome, and demonstrated traditional treatment such as cupping, acupuncture and massage, vividly showing the essence and charm of traditional Chinese medicine culture.

"It is the role of the medical team to provide scientific lectures to the general public, and I look forward to more such cultural exchanges between Togo and China," said Tchalla Toyi, a student at the University of Lome.

Passing on their medical knowledge to the public of Togo and thus enriching their medical knowledge will build a "medical team that never leaves," said team members.

At the end of October, with the arrival of the 26th batch of the Chinese medical team, Liu Yu and her team will complete their tasks and return to China. Walking through the tidy corridor of CHR-Lome Commune, they hugged goodbye to the local medical staff.

"Thanks to the Chinese medical team for your contribution to the health care of the Togolese people!" President of the hospital Macamanzi Atafei Laroutoki said after presenting honorary certificates to the team members.

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