Chinese Pharmacist Dedicated to Improving Healthcare in Guinea

June 1, 2019
Editor: Wei Xuanyi

Qiu Shuang (left) with the pharmacy director of the China-Guinea Friendship Hospital[For Women of China]


China-Guinea Friendship Hospital (CGFH) officially opened in Conakry, capital of the Republic of Guinea, in April 2012. Qiu Shuang, a pharmacist at Beijing Chaoyang Hospital, and 18 healthcare workers joined the 26th medical team from Beijing to work at CGFH on July 12, 2017.

Qiu is responsible for the management of high-risk poison hemp and expired medicines, the supervision and treatment of adverse drug reactions and the promotion of clinical pharmacy information at CGFH. She is also responsible for managing pharmaceuticals and distributing medicines to patients at the clinic, located near the Chinese medical team's residence.

"It was rainy season when we first arrived in Guinea.I was not able to adapt to the humid weather in the beginning, and I suffered from dermatitis. But I told myself that I couldn't slack at my work." Qiu says.

"The CGFH's pharmacy was short of hands and lacked effective medicine administration.I told them how Chinese doctors worked in China, and I raised their awareness of the safety and efficacy of drug use," Qiu says.

She has created French-language PowerPoint presentations based on her own experiences, and she has trained local doctors on pharmaceutical science, clinical drug use, pharmaceutical care and checking prescriptions. An ancient Chinese proverb states it is better to teach a person how to fish than to give him a fish. To improve local healthcare services, the Chinese medical team established a one-on-one mentoring system. Each member of the team is responsible for guiding and teaching a local medical worker.

Qiu Shuang (right) checks the blood pressure of a Guinean woman.[For Women of China]

"The director of the pharmacy of CGFH is my 'student.' She is very nice to me. She likes to call me 'my teacher' and 'my friend' in Chinese. She sent me a tailor-made traditional dress as a gift. She and her colleagues have also invited us to join their celebration of traditional festivals. That is the way for them to express gratitude to us," Qiu says.

Statistics indicate that, since 1963, China has sent 21,000 medical workers to more than 50 African countries, and they have treated 220 million African patients and trained 80,000 African medical workers. The friendship between Chinese and African people has deepened over the past decades.

Qiu is fixed-asset administrator at CGFH. "China's medical aid, including medicines and medical equipment, has been well- received by the locals. We discuss and submit their needs and applications (to Chinese government), so more people will benefit," Qiu says.

"The initiative on healthcare will bring more advanced and comprehensive health and medical care to African people, and it will train more professional doctors to safeguard African people's health. The healthcare workers in Guinea are all very happy, and they are looking forward to it," Qiu says.

"I witness and participate in the building of an even stronger China -Africa community with a shared future. My experience in Guinea is the most brilliant part in my medical career," Qiu says.

Qiu Shuang (second from right) gives a handbook of pharmaceuticals, which she compiled, to a doctor at the China-Guinea Friendship Hospital.[For Women of China]


(Women of China English Monthly March 2019 issue)

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