Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

23 January 2013

Tanzania: Zanzibar Grateful for Assistance By 24th Chinese Medical Team

CHINA has made great efforts to provide assistance to the Zanzibar people, but women in the islands would be more grateful to the Chinese medical doctors for their precious help.

The 24th medical team from China is leaving for home on Friday and the 25th team is expected to fly in by June, this year. Since 1964 Zanzibar has been receiving medical team to help in health sector for two years routine. Similar medical help from China is also being witnessed in other developing African countries.

Zanzibar has also been benefiting help from China in education, water development, and Information Communication Technology. Every member of the 24th Chinese medical team was busy with little time for rest because of patients mainly women and children who need frequent attention.

"It was a nice experience in Zanzibar. I will definitely remember several challenges which I successfully managed to overcome in obstetrics and gynaecology," said Dr Hou Shunyu as she joined her colleagues to bid farewell to Zanzibaris. She remembers, "In the gynaecology clinic, I handled a number of patients with pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility. All these are related to infections and sometimes such cases were serious and very difficult to handle."

Shubyu said that there was a lot of uterine fibroids or Myoma of uterus and pelvic mass are quite large. "In my operation, one of the biggest myoma weighed up to 5.5 kg as a full term birth fetus," she said. The gynaecologist said that lack of regular inspection is the main cause of health problems, narrating that once she met a young lady aged 22 who suffered cervical cancer and there was no chance for operation because the tumor developed into dangerous and unfortunately died because of massive hemorrhage.

"So to women it is important to carry out frequent health check and take prevention measures before it is too late," she advises Zanzibar women, adding that: "During her period of work at Mnazi Mmoja Hospital she encountered disturbing incidents of maternal mortality, neonatal mortality, stillbirth, fetal malformation, eclampsia, urine rupture and fetal deaths and severe shock.

"If the patients were able to be checked regularly during the perinatal period, the tragedy would not happen. How to guarantee the safety of infant and mom and reduce the maternal mortality rate and neonatal mortality is especially important. Perinatal and timely treatment when abnormal for pregnant women so that the pregnant women have correct understanding of pregnancy, eliminate some high unnecessary worry and have a self care for fetal uterus, in order to implement the prevention as priority, detect high-risk pregnancy as soon as possible and ensure the safety of pregnant women and fetus.

We appreciate the Chinese government's care and support for us following limited health care for us, says Ms Amina Omar (34), who was among the beneficiary of the Chinese aid. The outgoing Chinese medical personnel in Zanzibar included anesthetics, urologists, obstetricians, gynecologists, orthopedics surgeons and pediatricians among others who worked at the Zanzibar's main hospital of Mnazi Mmoja and Abdallah-Mzee Hospital in Pemba.

Minister for Health, Mr Juma Duni Haji and Dr Mohamed Saleh Jidawi- Principal Secretary (PS) of the ministry commended the medical doctors from China, saying that with the ever increasing demand for health services as well as the need to provide specialized services, the help remain crucial. Mr Duni said health and medical cooperation between Zanzibar and China has expanded, adding that China is improving the hospital in Pemba; construct Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Mnazi Mmoja Hospital and donation of modern medical equipment.

In the past two years, members of the Chinese Medical Team worked tirelessly, giving effective medical care to people in Zanzibar. According to the PS the medical personnel from China were consulted by hundreds of patients and carried many operations, many of which were pretty challenging. Chinese doctors impressed patients with their constant kindness and patience.

The outstanding professional skills and good attitude of this team have also been highly praised by many leaders in Zanzibar who were treated by the Chinese doctors. The President of Zanzibar, Dr Ali Mohamed Shein, has recently said that efforts from China has improved people's health condition in Zanzibar and other developing African countries and promoted the development of public health in Africa, enhancing the friendship between the Chinese and African people.

He congratulated the Chinese medical team for overcoming difficulties and risks involved in their assignments and accomplished their mission through selfless dedication which has made significant contribution to the development of Zanzibar. According to the Chinese Consul General in Zanzibar Ms Chen Qiman, Zanzibar will continue to constantly receive assistance from the Chinese government Now that the 24th team members are returning home; Zanzibar expects to welcome the 25th Chinese medical team later this year.

Their mission will be fully financed by the Chinese government. Arguably many people of Zanzibar wish a safe journey back home, a more promising career and happy family of every member of the Chinese Medical Team, to the everlasting friendship between the Chinese and the Zanzibaris!

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