Chen Hongbin, Director of the General Medicine Department and the Geriatric Department of Beihai People's Hospital, set her journey to Niger in January 2017, as one of the 19th group of the Chinese medical team to Africa. Chen and other Chinese medical team members spared no effort to push ahead the operation of Niger general hospital and to train a large number of local medical staff.
|Chen Hongbin (Second from right) works with Nigerien medical staff. [China Women's News]
Equipped with 500 beds, Niger general hospital was built with China's assistance in line with the configuration of China's tertiary hospital, which is the largest and the most advanced general hospital in not just Niger but the whole of West Africa.
The construction of the hospital was completed in November 2016, but it wasn't put into operation in the following three months.
"We faced unprecedented challenges. Many of the hospital areas were covered with dust and most of the medical facilities were unopened. There were only 12 medical workers in the hospital at that time, "Chen recalled.
When the hospital was ready to open, Chen was designated as the physician in the Chinese medical team as well as cashier and administrative assistant of the Chinese director of the hospital.
As a member of the Chinese representatives, Chen held 14 working discussions with officials of Nigerien Health Ministry and organized more than 70 negotiations with the Nigerien director of the hospital on solving issues.
Chen has written more than 100,000 words of paper materials including the report on hospital investigation, hospital marketing strategy, and maintenance suggestion on large equipment. Her reports were submitted to the embassy, business offices and Autonomous Region Health Commission, offering a reference for decision-making. By negotiating with the hospital contractor, the equipment dealers and the facilities manufacturers, the hospital was eventually put into operation on November 24, 2017.
"Clinic care is still my important work," said Chen. Besides taking part in the administrative management and external liaison work, Chen was also responsible for the clinic care of geriatric department.
"The medical aid to Africa gives me a new recognition to the construction of the Belt and Road," Chen said that there were many Chinese enterprises in Niger and many Chinese people running businesses there, "The hospital is extremely important to our compatriots."
At the end of January 2018, the 19th group of Chinese medical team accomplished its mission and returned to China. The team members not only trained a number of local high-level medical talents but also laid a foundation for the follow-up Chinese medical team members to carry out clinical work in Africa.
"By the time we returned to China, there were more than 100 local medical workers in the general hospital. Medical professionals from other countries of North Africa all visited and studied there," Chen said that during the year she lived in Niamey, she deeply felt China's influence upon the local region. African people believe that China provides them with hope and dignity.
The Sino-African relationship boosts the construction of the Belt and Road to go further. "The Health Action is one of the 'eight major actions' jointly implemented by China and Africa, which will surely bring benefits to the people," Chen added.
(Source: China Women's News/Translated and edited by Women of China)