Zim commends 38th anniversary of chinese Medical Team Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Constantino Chiwenga (centre) and Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Deputy Minister Kindness Paradza (left) being taken on a tour of a photo exhibition by Chinese Embassy second secretary Wang Qian while the Embassy Charge d’affaires Cheng Yan (second from right) looks on during the 60th anniversary of Chinese Medical Team and the Annual Shift of Chinese Medical Team to Zimbabwe at Chinese Embassy in Harare yesterday. — Picture: Memory Mangombe.

Mukudzei Chingwere-Herald Reporter

The health of our people is a priority and Government will continue to strengthen collaboration with the People’s Republic of China for the mutual benefit of our two nations, Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Constantino Chiwenga has said.

He made the remarks at the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of China dispatching its first medical aid team abroad and the 38th anniversary of the Chinese Medical Team to Zimbabwe.

The commemoration also congratulated the 19th Chinese Medical Team on the successful completion of its mission, and welcomed the 20th Chinese medical team to Zimbabwe.

“We are well aware that our collaboration in the provision of health care is in line with President Xi Jinping’s vision of cooperation with the African continent,” said Vice President Chiwenga.

“In the context of Zimbabwe this cooperation is guided by a “Protocol” between the Republic of Zimbabwe and the People’s Republic of China concerning the sending of a Chinese Medical Team to work in the Republic of Zimbabwe.

“This agreement is meant to strengthen the friendly cooperative relations between the two countries in the medical and health services.

“The health of our people is a priority of the Government of Zimbabwe and will continue to strengthen our collaboration with the People’s Republic of China for the mutual benefit of our two nations,” said VP Chiwenga.

He said the Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals where the Chinese Medical Teams operate from was chosen to participate in a cooperation mechanism of paired hospitals between the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China and the Ministry of Health and Child Care.

Under this arrangement, VP Chiwenga said, Hunan Provincial People’s Hospital of China and Parirenyatwa established a cooperation mechanism as paired hospitals and a Memorandum of Understanding has since been signed in that respect.

“It is important to note that these two institutions had already informally commenced a collaborating relationship in 2018 when Hunan Provincial People’s Hospital conducted an early cervical cancer detection program at Parirenyatwa Hospital,” said VP Chiwenga. “This included provision of DNA screening equipment and the associated consumables.

“Our hospital now has capacity to screen for this very common but preventable cancer in women and we are grateful for this noble cooperation with Hunan Provincial People’s Hospital Zimbabwe is very grateful to the Chinese Government for the assistance it tendered, in the provision of personal protective equipment and Covid-19 laboratory testing from the very early stages of the pandemic.

“This gave us the capacity, to not only contain the spread of the disease, but also to protect our frontline health workers and the health care system,” said VP Chiwenga.

He also thanked China for coming in a strong way to assist Zimbabwe when the global Covid-19 pandemic hit as well as assisting in the disaster mitigation. The team from China also participated in the opening of the recently functional Traditional Chinese Medicine offering free acupuncture treatment – a partnership between the Government of Zimbabwe and their Chinese counterparts operating from Parirenyatwa.

“Medical support is an important part of China’s foreign aid,” said Charge d’Affaires and Minister Counsellor of the People’s Republic of China in Zimbabwe Mr Cheng Yan.

“As President Xi Jinping noted in his response letter to the Chinese medical team deployed to the Central African Republic, the Chinese people love peace and cherish lives, which is illustrated by their efforts in international medical assistance.

“Since China dispatched its first foreign medical team to Algeria in 1963, a total of 30,000 medical personnel have treated 290 million local patients in 76 countries and regions. 

“Currently, Chinese medical teams are working at 115 sites in 56 countries around the world,” said Mr Cheng.

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