Feature: Chinese doctors in Morocco mark Spring Festival on edge of Sahara Desert

Source: Xinhua| 2020-01-29 21:54:12|Editor: xuxin
Video PlayerClose

RABAT, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- From within an old apartment in Rachidia, a remote city in southern Morocco, happy laughter is often heard recently, as Chinese doctors there are making dumplings to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival.

It is the second Spring Festival that the Chinese medical team has spent since they were sent from Shanghai in October 2018 to Rachidia, which was located at the southern foot of the Atlas Mountains on the edge of the Sahara Desert.

Mao Anwei, chief of the Chinese medical team in Rachidia, told Xinhua that their team of 10 doctors shoulder heavy tasks and often need to work overtime on weekends.

In view of the possibility of emergencies and surgical needs, most of the team members chose to stay in Rachidia during the Spring Festival holiday, Mao said.

In 2019, the Chinese medical team in Rachidia diagnosed and treated more than 10,000 patients, carried out over 2,000 surgeries, and rescued more than 100 patients in critical conditions.

The three obstetricians and gynecologists of the medical team often need to work a 24-hour shift as such doctors are in shortage in the region of Rachidia.

With high work intensity and acclimatization problems, Ye Jun, an obstetrician and gynecologist, lost 15 kg in fewer than a year.

However, Ye said, her work as a doctor has earned recognition of the Chinese doctors' medical skills and ethics from Moroccan patients.

"As doctors, we have a strong sense of accomplishment here," she added.

Ma Ling, another obstetrician and gynecologist, said the hard work of the medical team also won the respect of their Moroccan colleagues who often invited Chinese doctors to local weddings and festivals.

Given that eye diseases such as cataracts and blepharitis are very common in the Moroccan region, Xiao Qiang, the only ophthalmologist in the team, often has to work on weekends.

Xiao's grandmother died during his mission in Morocco but he failed to return to China because of the heavy work, which has made him feel guilty.

"I cannot reunite with my wife and kids in China because of my mission in Morocco. I can only repeatedly tell them to take care of themselves through video chat," Xiao said.