Chinese Medical Team In Ethiopia

Added On August 12, 2017

In recent years, China has sent many medical teams to the world for medical and humanitarian relief. 
Zhang Xiaoyang, aged 53, is a doctor working at a Chinese-sponsored hospital in Ethiopia. 
China Report has the story. 
The Tirunesh Beijing General Hospital (TBGH), named after Tirunesh Dibaba, a well-known Ethiopian runner and 2008 Olympics champion, was built with Chinese finances and expertise. 
The hospital opened in 2012, has been offering health services in internal medicine, surgery, HIV screening and others. 
Zhang has been leading a 16-member Chinese medical team working at TBGH to treat Ethiopian patients over the past year with services ranging from neurosurgery to Chinese traditional acupuncture.
As the 19th Chinese medical team arrived in Ethiopia last year, a unique medical partnership that can be traced back to 1973, Zhang knows he has a strong historical tie to uphold. 
SOUNDBITE(CHINESE) ZHANG XIAOYANG, Doctor of Chinese medical team:
"The 19th China Medical Team arrived in Addis Ababa on August 14, 2016. After a short takeover time with the previous team, we began to work immediately." 
The team hails from China's Henan Province, which has so far sent 19 such teams to Ethiopia over the past 44 years, involving a total of 327 volunteers. 
With a 94-year-old father, 88-year-old mother, and a son in China, Zhang faces extra challenges to his mission. 
Sometimes, Zhang tries to ease his homesickness by cooking Chinese food and chatting with his team members. 
Zhang isn't the only parent who's been working in Ethiopia far from home. 
Wang Zhijing, aged 34, a gynecologist and a mother of two children, has been helping new mothers and their newborn babies in the hospital for the past year. 
Despite the shortages of medicines and occasions where she will use needles to treat an HIV-infected patient, Wang is unfazed by potential hazards. 
The Chinese doctors' presence has impressed many locals, like Dr. Lidet Fekadeslassie. 
SOUNDBITE: LIDET FEKADESLASSIE, Ethiopian medical worker
"It used to be the case that we used to give Magnesium Sulfate medicine to pregnant patients with dangerous level of blood pressure through blood vessels and thighs, but now I've learned that it can also be given safely through Glucose Intravenous infusion." 
Marealem Worku, aged 35, one of Fekadeslassie's patients, a new mother of twins, said that, with the combined efforts of Wang and Fekadeslassie, she's been receiving excellent treatment she didn't have when she gave birth to her first child at another hospital. 
The 19th Chinese medical team in Ethiopia is not the whole story of Ethiopia-China health cooperation, but is a major part of it. 
Earlier this month at a ceremony attended by outgoing Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia La Yifan, an agreement was signed to support TBGH's efforts to develop its Trauma Treatment Center and Maternal Child Health Center.