WINDHOEK, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- Going back to work in Namibia shortly after the Spring Festival, the Chinese medical staff received probably the best new year greeting for doctors -- a thank-you letter from Lea Tikotoke, a healed patient.
The 30-year-old Namibian had been unable to walk due to severe hip and back pain. Local doctors failed to diagnose her of any disease after a series of tests including X-rays in December last year.
Tikotoke had to walk with a walking stick until she received a needle technique massage on her back and hip from Chinese doctors at Katutura Immediate Hospital in January.
"From that day on, I started walking without a stick," Tikotoke recalled.
Chu Hailin, a senior doctor with the Chinese medical team who has been serving for a third term in Namibia, said a lot of patients went back to their Chinese doctors to say thank you, and some even sang and danced in the clinic to show their joy and gratitude.
PEARLS IN AFRICA
For half a century, from the Sahara Desert to the Victoria Falls, from Kilimanjaro Mountain to the Gulf of Guinea, from the Banks of the Nile to the Great Rift Valley, from the Congo River to the Zambezi River, from the African savanna to the dense jungle, the Chinese medical teams are scattered like pearls on the Africa continent, a report by China's National Health Commission wrote.
In 1963, the first Chinese medical team arrived in the northern African country of Algeria. Since then China has sent about 20,000 doctors to a total of 51 countries and regions in Africa, where, together with local doctors, Chinese medical staff have saved more than 200 million lives.
In the west African country of Gambia, the Chinese medical team launched free cataract surgery in January, helping more than 200 local people regain sight.
In Sudan, Chinese medical staff successfully performed hip fracture surgery for a 90-year-old who could not be treated by local hospitals.
In Malawi, the Chinese medical team carried out the first ever radical gastrectomy operation in the country.
In Guinea, where power is frequently off, Chinese doctors completed the first thoracotomy with mobile phone lighting.
When Ebola virus broke out in West Africa in 2014, China sent more than 1,200 medical staff and public health experts to the region. They won praises from the governments and people of the recipient countries.
Zambian Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya said his government appreciates the professional, ethical and hardworking culture of the Chinese medical teams that have been coming to the country since 1978.
"We want to place on record our gratitude to the people of China and the Chinese government for this great cooperation," he said.
Botswana's former Health and Wellness Minister Dorcas Magkato said partnership with China has bridged Botswana's human resource gap in the health sector.
Sarah Opendi, Uganda's State Minister for General Duties, said "they (Chinese medical teams) bring in specialists in different areas, (and that) the services offered to our people are of good quality. We really appreciate them."
Health Minister of South Sudan Riek Gai Kok appreciated the Chinese medical teams, saying "this is the generosity of the People's Republic of China to send this dedicated team to South Sudan to help us fight these worst health indicators in the world."
Mauritania's former Prime Minister Yahya Ould Hademine said that over the past 50 years, the Chinese medical team has made outstanding contributions to promoting China-Mauritania health cooperation, ensuring the health of the local people.
The Mauritanian government and people are deeply grateful for this and will never forget, he added.
Namibia's founding President Sam Nujoma said the Chinese medical team is doing very well in Namibia, and that they are the representatives of the China-Namibia friendship.