The relationship between Batswana and the Chinese local governments continues to strengthen as China forges on to bring medical health practitioners with various qualifications to the country.
Welcoming the 15th Chinese medical team to Botswana in Gaborone recently, Chinese Ambassador to Botswana Dr Zhao Yanbo said as a sincere friend to Botswana, China began sending over Medical Teams in 1981.
He said for the last 37 years, 14 teams and more than 460 Chinese doctors came to work in Botswana.
“By overcoming many difficulties, they have helped treat and cure more than two million people in Botswana, almost the whole population of this country. In addition to this, the ‘Brightness Action Campaign’ conducted by the Chinese Medical Team in 2015 helped more than 500 cataract patients of Botswana to regain their sight. They have brought over not only the high-level medical treatment technology and expertise, but also trained a large number of local medical staff through clinical teaching and academic lectures,” he noted.
Yanbo explained that the contributions of the Chinese Medical Teams received consistent high praise from all walks of life in Botswana. He said the Chinese Medical Team has become a very good example of the longstanding friendship and tangible cooperation between the two countries adding that their fruitful contribution in medical services is significant and has helped Botswana better work towards achieving its
The ambassador said besides Botswana, the Chinese Medical Teams were sent to 50 other African countries. He explained that China has been sending Medical Teams to support Africa’s health services since 1960’s.
“Over the past five decades, China has sent more than 20,000 doctors to 51 African countries, which have treated and cured millions of African patients and trained thousands of African nurses and doctors. At the moment, the Chinese Medical Teams are still working in 43 African countries,” he said.
For his part, the Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Alfred Madigele said their partnership has seen great improvements in the delivery of health services in the country particularly at their two referral hospitals namely Princess Marina and Nyangabgwe.
“So far, over the years the numbers of the medical team have increased in line with the ever increasing demand for health services as well as need to provide specialised services. The increase in the number of health workers symbolises the true spirit of friendship, partnership and brotherhood by China,” he said.
Madigele added that his team managed to recruit 46 medical personnel under various specialties namely Acupunctuarists, Omphthamologist, Orthopaedic surgeons and many more.