Shanxi medics lend a helping hand with their care in Africa


Updated: 2021-11-29

A debriefing session for Shanxi province's returned medical aid teams who were sent on medical assistance missions to the African countries of Cameroon and Togo was recently held in the provincial capital of Taiyuan.

From November 2019 to May 2021, the two teams carried out general medical aid, as well as the prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic, by putting in place prevention and control systems, improving work procedures, conducting emergency drills, reserving protective materials and sharing China's anti-epidemic know-how.

In Cameroon which has limited medical resources, medics from Shanxi displayed their expertise in medical skills and in the operation of medical equipment.

The medical team dispatched to the city of Mbalmayo in Cameroon repaired an anesthetic machine that had been idle for many years in a local hospital and successfully carried out intravenous combined general anesthesia surgery, expanding the hospital's scope of surgery. The Shanxi medics used idle laparoscopy devices in the operating room of Yaounde Women's and Children's Hospital in the country's capital of Yaounde to successfully complete 21 cases of laparoscopic surgery, filling a need for local laparoscopic surgery.

The medical team that went to Togo completed the first local case of minimally invasive intramedullary nail fixation for tibial comminuted fractures without the aid of a mobile C-arm X-ray machine. It also helped a pregnant woman who suffered from dystocia to give birth to a full-term malformation fetus naturally with a craniotomy.

In addition, Shanxi's medics to Cameroon and Togo also devoted themselves to teaching various techniques to medical workers in the two African countries. 

"We hoped to leave a medical team for the locals, which cannot be taken away," said Chen Haiyun, leader of the medical aid team in Lome, the capital of Togo.

In October 2020, the medics gave some 50 training sessions of pediatric massages to medical workers at the Yaounde Women's and Children's Hospital and mothers to improve domestic child health care skills. 

In the Lome Regional Central Hospital, Shanxi's acupuncturists used traditional Chinese medicine to treat waist and leg pain and carried out weight loss regimes, as well as massage and chiropractic sessions which were well received by the locals. 

Li Xiao, director of the international cooperation and exchange division of Shanxi Health Commission, expressed the hope that Shanxi's medics, who are next to assist or give aid in Africa, would continue to practice the spirit of defying hardship, making great contributions and practicing philanthropy, and doing a great job in providing medical aid to Africa.