The spring of 2015 was the second spring China’s medical technology group to aid Guinea spent in Africa. Over the past year, in the face of sudden outbreaks such as the Ebola epidemic, this ordinary foreign aid team has done a lot of extraordinary things.
Located in western Africa, Guinea is one of the least developed countries in the world. It has long been characterized by a poor medical environment, high morbidity and mortality due to poverty, backward medical care and unhealthy lifestyles of local residents.
In April 2012, the China-Guinea Friendship Hospital, sponsored by China, was opened, to be run by the first phase medical technology group that China Sinopharm International Corporation (CSIC) sent in October 2011.
Following the successful completion of the first phase, CSIC sent the second phase of the medical technology group in October 2013 for a two year posting.
The medical technology group is composed of five members - four medical device engineers and a French translator. To ensure the normal use of medical equipment and to provide technical guidance and training for Guinea are the group's daily duties.
In mid-April 2014, the Ebola epidemic began to spread in West African countries. Guinea was not only the source of the outbreak of Ebola, but also one of the three most affected West African countries. As the epidemic worsened, Guinea's monthly death toll continued to soar.
While the epidemic required warnings and area restrictions during the day, the group utilized nighttime for the maintenance of hospital equipment to ensure its normal operation the next day.Even though faced with unexpected situations, no one has asked to come back home. Because of the shortage of medical staff and the large number of patients in the hospital, the experts in the medical technical group not only need to do daily maintenance, but also daily logistics.
In July 2014, team leader Zhang Ming suffered from cervical disc herniation due to an accidental fall. He was ordered to return home immediately for surgery to avoid limb paralysis caused by incomplete neurological recovery. Yet Zhang refused.
“First, the patients in Guinea need me for the severe epidemic situation. Second, my team members need me for I’m the team leader. Third, the normal operations of the equipment need me for I’m the only engineer who is responsible for the CT and DR equipment.”
In the following months, Zhang wore a cervical repositioning instrument while receiving local treatment, and returned to work immediately after his condition improved.
It has been over a year since China’s second phase of the medical technology group to aid Guinea came to Africa. This professional team of only five members has overcome all kinds of difficulties and won the love and praise of the local people for their professionalism and dedication. Not only did they accomplish their job, they also built a bridge of friendship between the two countries.