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), Health Minister Hon. Dr. Culwick Togamana expressed sincere thanks and appreciation for the job well done by the team as they prepare to return to China.
In his remarks, Dr. Togamana said that the work the team has done over more than a year ago in the country has really touched the lives of many Solomon Islanders.
“Over 600 plus people were reached from your free medical clinic community outreach program 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 rendered from the National Referral Hospital have served well hundreds of people, some with minor stroke and persistent body weakness, prolonged body and joint aches, and have alleviated discomfort and movement difficulties amongst many. We have read about and seen for ourselves many of the patients who have benefited well from your wonderful services”, highlighted Dr. Togamana.
The Health Minister also appreciated the advocacy role the Chinese medical team had conducted in the fight against NCD of which an NCD clinic and referral centre is currently being built with the partnership of NRH and assistance from a private business company.
“A longer-term plan is to ensure transfer of specialized and expert knowledge and skills to local staff which will ensure continuity of the specialized services long after the team leaves and this is one of the areas that we are very much blessed with”, highlighted the Health Minister.
He also thanked the team for their technical inputs and expressed sincere gratitude towards the donation of medical supplies especially at times when 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”, concluded Dr Togamana.
At the event, Dr George Malefoasi Chief Executive Officer of NRH also informed 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 include local doctors, nurses and paramedics to train and attach in Guizhou Province, China, where the team originates.
Other priority areas discussed includes, 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 at a later part of this year. Cardiology (heart) and urology subspecialist care services are two new expansion of the current CMT teams
“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”, said Dr Malefoasi.
His Excellency Mr. Li Ming China Ambassador to the Solomon Islands said that China is pleased to have deployed its medical personnel to assist at the NRH as part of the overall Health Cooperation between the government of China and the Solomon Islands.
“This program 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”, explained Ambassador Li.
He concluded by thanking the Ministry of Health and Medical Services and the National Referral Hospital 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 also iincluded presentation by the Team Leader Mr. Frank Zhou on the work of the China Medical Team and ended with testimonies from some of the patients seen by the team during their time at NRH and free clinic outreach programs.
The Chinese Medical Team was established in 1962, with Algeria been the first recipient country. Since its establishment in 1962, CMTs has reached over 292 million patients from around the world.