IN a brief ceremony this week at the China Embassy in Honiara to acknowledge and appreciate the work of the first China Medical Team (CMT) to Solomon Islands, Minister of Health and Medical Services (MHMS), Dr Culwick Togamana thanked the medical practitioners for a ‘job well done’ as they prepare to return to their home country.
Dr Togamana said the work the team had done in the country for more than a year really touched the lives of many Solomon Islanders.
“Over 600 plus people were reached through your free medical clinic community outreach programme both in Honiara and the provinces. You have brought medical care to the doors of the people and this is greatly appreciated by many.
“The Acupuncture services you rendered from the National Referral Hospital have served hundreds of people. Some with minor strokes and persistent body weaknesses, prolonged body, whilst many others suffered joint aches causing discomfort and movement difficulties. We have read about and seen for ourselves many of the patients who have benefited well from your wonderful services.”
The MHMS Minister also expressed appreciation for the advocacy role the Chinese medical team had conducted in the fight against NCD, including the construction of an NCD clinic and referral centre in Honiara. The facility is built in partnership with NRH and assistance from a private business company.
“Our longer-term plan is to ensure transfer of specialised and expert knowledge and skills to local staff to ensure continuity of the specialised services long after the team leaves and this is one of the areas that we are very much blessed with.”
Dr Togamana also thanked the team for their technical inputs and expressed sincere gratitude for the donation of medical supplies, especially at times when the NRH Pharmacy is facing shortages.
“NRH, patients and communities that you have visited have greatly benefited from your contributions to medical care. Thank you so much and we wish you well,” he added.
Also at the event, the NRH Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr George Malefoasi, announced that the NRH Executive had met with the CMT team leader and mapped out areas of priority for this year, including exchange-training initiatives that may also involve the training and attachment of local doctors, nurses and paramedics in Guizhou Province, China, the home of the team.
Other priority areas discussed included Acupuncture center, NCDs, Cardiology, Urology surgery and Renal. This is to preposition the NRH’s readiness for the new Comprehensive Medical Centre to be constructed in the later part of this year. Cardiology (Heart) and Urology Subspecialist Care Services are two new expansions of the current CMT teams.
Dr Malefoasi said, “These will be worked on together with the new team, China Medical Team N2 who will be arriving soon and hope that we can continue on from the excellent work that’s been done by team 1. Thank you so much for your significant contributions to NRH.”
The Chinese Ambassador to Solomon Islands, Li Ming said China is pleased to have deployed its medical personnel to assist at the NRH as part of the overall Health Cooperation between the Governments of China Solomon Islands.
“This programme is part of the overall mission of the China Government to share its resources in the Medical Field across the globe to help contribute to raising global health and medical care and this has been ongoing for more than half a century,” Ambassador Ming explained.
He thanked MHMS and NRH for the support rendered towards the China Medical Team.
“I am firmly convinced that the medical cooperation between our two countries will set an example for the other countries in the region.”
The ceremony included presentation by the Team Leader, Frank Zhou, on the work of the China Medical Team and testimonies from some of the patients seen by the team during their time at NRH and free clinic outreach programmes.
The Chinese Medical Team was established in 1962, with Algeria being the first recipient country. Since its establishment, CMT has reached over 292 million patients from around the world.