GRAND POPO, Benin, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- At least 10 Chinese medical professionals of different specialities on Thursday began a two-day mission to provide free health care services for the people of Grand Popo, about 100 km southwest of Benin's largest city Cotonou.
"As part of celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, the Chinese embassy in Benin has initiated free medical consultations for the benefit of the people of Grand Popo," Chinese Ambassador to Benin Peng Jingtao said.
The medical team provides multiple health services in gynaecology-obstetrics, otolaryngology, ophthalmology, stomatology, surgery, orthopaedics, radiology, general medicine, paediatric, anaesthesia and reanimation.
Lang Zhicun, head of the 23rd Chinese medical mission to Benin, explained that the free health care and medicines provided for the people of Grand Popo are aimed at strengthening the China-Benin friendly relationship and improving Grand Popo people's knowledge of health.
Hundreds of people arrived to receive free consultations and medicine. Among them, a 72-year-old fisherman Gilbert Lokossou with eyes problems said that for decades, he had not been able to gather enough financial resources to go to hospital for low vision acuity.
"But today, I am here with Chinese practitioners who, for free, checked me and gave me medications kindly," he told Xinhua.
Medical assistance is an important part of the long-standing China-Benin cooperation. The West-African country received the first Chinese medical mission in 1978.
Over the years, more than 576 Chinese doctors have visited the country to provide medical assistance. They have treated over 3 million people and performed 75,000 surgeries.