Dr. Gong Meiling looks through medical records at his Rong Zeng Clinic in Lusaka, capital of Zambia, Aug. 9, 2019. When Dr. Gong Meiling first visited Zambia in the early 1990s as member of the China Medical Team, little did he know that the visit was the start of his long stay in the southern African nation. After the medical team's work, he decided to stay in Zambia and started this clinic to continue servicing for the health of the Zambian people. The 80-year-old doctor said he has been running his clinic for the last 22 years in which he has attended to about 160,000 patients for diagnosis and treatment of various diseases. (Xinhua/Peng Lijun)
LUSAKA, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- When Dr. Gong Meiling first visited Zambia in the early 1990s as part of the China Medical Team, little did he know that the visit was the start of his long stay in the southern African nation.
He was in the 7th and 9th batch of the China medical teams where he even served as vice-captain. He came to Zambia twice for medical assistance in 1992 and 1994.
However, his visit opened his eyes to the deplorable state of medical conditions at Thompson Hospital in Luanshya town on the Copperbelt Province.
He was exposed to the worst medical conditions which were worsened by an outbreak of cholera in the town, leaving his team with no option but to do their best to help the sick.
Although the experience led to the death of one of the Chinese doctors who succumbed to excessive fatigue, liver disease recurrence, the doctors battled against the cholera outbreak, he recalls.
Despite the harsh and bad medical situation the medical team worked hard to help save sick people and for Dr. Gong, he placed it upon his heart to come and settle in Zambia in order to help improve the situation.
"I have been working for the medical team for more than four years. I feel that Zambia's medical conditions are backward and need us very much. So after the medical team's work, I decided to stay in Zambia and start this clinic to continue servicing the health of the Zambian people," Dr. Gong, who runs Rong Zeng Clinic in Lusaka, the country's capital told Xinhua.
The 80-year-old doctor said he has been running his clinic for the last 22 years in which he has attended to about 160,000 patients for diagnosis and treatment of various diseases.
"The medical fee here is flexible and can be exempted. I am very happy to do something for the local people. I want to continue to work hard to do what I can do for the health of the Zambian people and overseas Chinese and for the friendship between the two peoples," he said.
In 2015, Dr. Gong represented the China Medical Team to accept the first "China Ambassadors Friendship Award".
Despite his advancing age, the medical doctor's passion to help people has been his motivating factor.
According to him, apart from treating patients, he also introduces his knowledge of how they can take care of their health and prevent diseases.
His medical skills and medical ethics have not escaped the recognition of his patients who showered praise on him.
Christopher Siakakole, 65, who has been the doctor's patient since 1999 commended the Chinese doctor for his work ethics and the efficacy of the Chinese medicine.
"Because the doctor is very good, their medicine is very good. It works very well. So far, from 1999 up to this time, I am still very healthy because of the medicine which they gave me," he said.
He said he has becoming to Dr. Gong's clinic because he has confidence in him, adding that he has also been taking his family to the same doctor.
Carlos Moyo Caroso, another patient had praise for the doctor, saying she was happy with his experience and service.
"We are happy with his service, service here is very good," she said.
Gong, who still goes for runs everyday, is just one of the Chinese medical doctors working to help improve the health system in Zambia.
Since 1978, the Chinese government has sent 21 medical teams and 574 medical team members to Zambia. The teams have treated more than 3 million patients, carried out more than 20,000 types of surgeries, and introduced and implemented more than 700 new technologies and new projects.