At around 6:00 am on Oct 29, more than 200 patients were waiting in a makeshift tent at the hospital in Bangu city, western Cameroon.
They were awaiting the voluntary clinical services provided by the 22nd Chinese medical team working on aid projects in Cameroon, who have not only donated medical supplies to locals but also helped promote medical cooperation between the two countries.
There are about 100,000 residents in Bangu and Bamendjou, both in western Cameroon, most of whom live in rural areas. Each city has a hospital with eight doctors in total, in addition to several clinics manned by just one nurse.
According to a local official, the hospital in Bamendjou is short of basic medical equipment, such as ultrasound and X-ray machines, as well as ambulances, which has resulted in patients dying while being transported to hospitals.
A patient who has suffered from joint pain for nearly 10 years receives acupuncture in Bangu, Oct 29, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]
A 53-year-old woman from Bangu has been suffering from joint pain for nearly 10 years. Li Zhongjian, a member of the Chinese medical team, used traditional Chinese acupuncture, cupping therapy, and massage to help ease her pain.
She was grateful for Li's treatment, saying that the Chinese medicine was so helpful that she could even straighten her back.
A patient receiving an ultrasound check and acupuncture gives an interview with Xinhua News Agency, Oct 29, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]
A 71-year-old man traveled about 200 kilometers to come to Bangu, upon learning from his brother about the Chinese medical team's service. As a patient who has suffered from varicose veins since 2016, he was impressed by the Chinese acupuncture therapy. "The pain just magically went away," he said.
These patients are among the 1,600-plus beneficiaries of the Chinese medical team's voluntary clinical service program.
As part of the program, the two local hospitals have also received medicines targeting malaria, typhoid fever and diarrhea, as well as masks and disinfectant donated by the Chinese team.
A Chinese doctor checks blood sugar levels of a local patient in Bangu, Oct 29, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]
Theodore Datouo, deputy speaker of Cameroon's National Assembly, spoke highly of the Chinese medical team in an interview, saying that the free clinical services have not only reduced health problems of local people, but also helped promote local development.
Guo Jun, head of the medical team, said the program was part of the medical cooperation between China and Cameroon and was expected to help improve grassroots medical services and deepen the two countries' friendship.
Since 1975, China has dispatched 736 medical workers in 22 batches to Cameroon. The 22nd batch arrived in the country in April and will work there for one year.