JUBA, May 4 (Xinhua) -- The seventh batch of Chinese doctors arrived in South Sudan on Saturday to conduct a one-year medical assistance mission in the world's youngest country.
The 15-member team, composed of 13 specialists and two support staff, will replace the outgoing 6th batch.
Riek Gai Kok, South Sudan's health minister, hailed the contribution of the Chinese doctors to the country's health sector through provision of free medical services to citizens.
Since 2013, Kok said, Chinese doctors have offered surgeries and capacity-building to South Sudanese health workers.
"We thank you very much for that personal sacrifice you have made to come to South Sudan to serve your brothers," he said. "You have saved thousands of thousands of lives here."
Hua Ning, Chinese Ambassador to South Sudan, said the healthcare cooperation between Beijing and Juba has helped ease the disease burden afflicting civilians.
He pledged to further strengthen bilateral cooperation, expressing the hope that as peace returns to South Sudan, the local people will enjoy better and more effective medical services.
Sun Yaxi, head of the departing Chinese medical team, said that despite the difficult working environment in South Sudan, members enjoyed their stay in the east African nation.
Sun said since their arrival to South Sudan in May 2018, the Chinese doctors conducted over 3,000 surgeries and hundreds of in-patient and out-patient consultations across the country.
"We have lots of unforgettable memories about our work and life in South Sudan," Sun said. "It was indeed a great and fruitful year for us."
"We transferred our skills, imparted our knowledge, shared our experience with local doctors and medical students," he said.
Tang Youbin, head of the 7th batch, said his team is "prepared to do more and assist effectively."