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Chinese doctors offer free care to Rwandans

China Daily Africa | Updated: 2017-11-10 08:43

Chinese doctors offer free care to Rwandans

A member of the 18th Chinese medical team in Rwanda examines a patient on Nov 1. Xinhua

The 18th Chinese medical team to visit Rwanda provided a week of free treatment beginning on Nov 1 in Kibungo town.

Hundreds of residents gathered early at the clinic in Kibungo, Eastern province, to seek help from the Chinese doctors. The medics - who came from the fields of orthopedics, internal medicine, surgery, stomatology, acupuncture, anesthesiology and maternity - provided consultation and treatment. They also donated medicine.

"I have been suffering from painful swollen legs for the past two years and have visited several healthcare centers in my area," says Jean d'Arc Mukandutiye, 47, who received a diagnosis, medicine and a recommendation for further medical checkups from the Chinese doctors.

"It's expensive to get a checkup and treatment in the hospital. I tried, but I couldn't afford it," the mother of seven says.

Patients reported health problems ranging from dental issues, malaria and hypertension to diabetes, arthritis and skin diseases.

Emmanuel Ndayambaje, 60, who has suffered severe headaches for the past six months, says the health centers he visited previously failed to diagnose the problem, but the Chinese doctors were able to explain the cause.

He expressed his gratitude for the free service, since it had been difficult for him to get help in the capital, Kigali, because of financial constraints.

Eugenie Imurinde, head of the Kibungo clinic, thanked the doctors for their work.

"Many patients, especially in rural areas, fail to get treatment even for minor problems because of a lack of money and sometimes the long distances involved," Imurinde says.

"When our clinic can't handle complicated health problems and refer these patients to hospitals, they may choose not to go because they don't have the money," she says.

Providing free treatment and convenience for Rwandans is one of the Chinese medical team's main assignments, according to team leader Lu Jun.

China began sending medical teams to Rwanda in 1982. Hundreds of Chinese medical professionals have worked in Rwanda since then.




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