The Chinese embassy in Mauritania celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first medical team sent to African nation.
Chinese medical personnel have been winning the hearts of people in Mauritania for over 50 years, ever since the first medical team was sent to the African nation in 1968.
China has now sent 833 doctors and nurses in 32 teams to Mauritania, which is a monument to the two countries’ relations, according to Chinese Ambassador to Mauritania Zhang Jianguo.
“In the past 50 years, Chinese medical staff has rekindled hope for countless Mauritanian patients and saved countless families from losing their loved ones,” said Zhang in an article published on the People’s Daily newspaper in April.
“Walking on the streets of Kiffa, as long as you are a Chinese, people would come to greet you with a thumbs-up. Some local residents even cried when a Chinese team left Selibaby.”
Situated in northwestern Africa, Mauritania covers around 1 million square kilometers, three quarters of which are desert, and has a population of 4.3 million people.
Suffering from poor natural and economic conditions, people in the country did not have access to good and convenient medical service.
Since the first medical team, which was from Heilongjiang province, arrived in 1968, China’s medical assistance has greatly improved local healthcare.
In the capital, Nouakchott, China has set up a public health institute and whenever there is an outbreak of pandemic disease, the Chinese medical staff comes to the fore.
China has also helped establish a center of ophthalmology in Mauritania, which has received more than 30,000 patients. The Chinese medical staff also organizes campaigns to help train local doctors and nurses.
Over the years the Chinese teams have contributed to consolidating the Sino-Mauritanian relationship as well as safeguarding peace and development with their dedication and expertise, said Zhang.
He said China and Mauritania have seen steady growth in their relations and there have been many medical cooperation projects between the two countries since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held in 2012.
Looking forward, Zhang said he expects the medical teams to continue their efforts to help local patients and make unique contributions as the two countries deepen their understanding of each other and consolidate their friendship.