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China-Seychelles diplomatic ties |12 April 2023

China-Seychelles diplomatic ties

Members of the current medical team  

19th cohort of medical team from China to arrive in Seychelles in two weeks


As China celebrates the 60th anniversary of the dispatching of medical teams to other countries, the 18th cohort of medical team from China to Seychelles is set to leave the country on April 21. The next batch of six doctors will arrive in the country around the same time.

This was announced by the chargé d’affaires at the Chinese embassy, Mu Jianfeng, in a press conference yesterday at the Chinese embassy at St Louis.

Present at the press conference were five doctors from the current batch – Dr Xu Fengqiang (cardiologist, as well as the leader of the team); Dr Li Jijun (radiologist); Dr Li Xian (radiographer); Dr Wang Kai (orthopaedist); Dr Zhang Weikun (acupuncturist). Dr Lyu Xiaotong (hepatobiliary surgeon) was absent.

The chargé d’affaires noted that since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Seychelles in 1976, the two sides have forged a deep friendship.

“The Chinese government has provided substantial aid to Seychelles, including the Seychelles Polytechnic, National Assembly building, Anse Royale Hospital, the Palais De Justice, SBC House, etc. The Chinese medical team in Seychelles, as one of the most prominent China-Aid projects, was first dispatched in 1985. Over the past 38 years, 18 batches of 108 Chinese doctors from Shandong Province, China have been serving Seychellois with their medical expertise. They successfully treated thousands of local patients every year. The patients spoke highly of the loving care they received. China medical team to Seychelles is not only a token of our friendship, but also the protector of the health of the Seychellois people.”

The head of the Chinese medical team, Dr Xu Fengqiang, shared that during the last two years, the six Chinese doctors worked tirelessly to ensure the good health of the people of Seychelles.

“Together with our Seychellois colleagues, we overcame many difficult and rare diseases and faced many challenges. Through our hard work and dedication, we achieved our targets and formed a strong partnership that will be remembered for years to come. On behalf of the China Medical Team, I would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all the related parties in Seychelles who have supported us over the past two years. Your warm assistance and kind understanding have made it a pleasure for us to work with our hospital colleagues. It is because of the devotion of all parties that we have been able to work in a congenial atmosphere.”

Dr Fengqiang also pointed out that looking back on the last two years, the successful cooperation has been a treasure for both Seychelles and China.

“We have learned from each other, appreciated each other, and formed a strong bond that will last beyond our time here. We wish the Republic of Seychelles a brighter and more prosperous future ahead and once again extend our sincere appreciation to you.”

Dr Li Xian is a radiologist and she specialises in clinical diagnosis of diseases using X-rays, ultrasound, MRI, and CT. “Over the past two years, I have worked closely with my co-workers and diagnosed thousands of patients with various diseases such as fractures, tumors, infections, and more. During this time, I have completed 137 first on call shifts and written over 3,000 CT and MRI reports, 17,000 X-ray reports, Barium X-rays, and enemas, as well as 3,000 ultrasound and bedside ultrasound examinations. I have also assisted in diagnosing locally rare diseases, such as a case of neurocysticercosis, a rare parasitic infection that affects the brain, the diagnosis allowed to provide specialised treatment to the patient and helped improve the hospital’s diagnostic capabilities. I enjoyed working with the local radiologists, radiographers, nurses, and assistants and have a pleasant working relationship with them.”

Dr Wang Kai who is a radiologist shared that “Seychelles is not a big country and orthopedics here covers all the fields whereas in China orthopedics are divided into several different sub-specialties, for example in my case I am a trauma-orthopedic surgeon. So at the beginning it really took me some time to adapt to this situation. And the colleagues of orthopedic department are quite kind, we shared our experiences, we helped each other, we worked together and treated a lot of complicated cases. It was a wonderful experience working here.”

Dr Zhang Weikun worked as an acupuncturist at the North East Point. “In the acupuncture clinic, I practiced as many traditional Chinese medicine treatments as I could and offered the best therapy for patients. Apart from that, with two other technicians, we provided cupping, massage, auricular points with plasters and bloodletting. Normally after 10 sessions, almost every patient is satisfied with our treatment. Even during the pandemic, we did our best to protect patients and ourselves from being infected.”

Dr Zhang also shared that they also accelerate rehabilitation with traditional and magical Chinese methods. “Because of little side effect, acupuncture is more and more popular in Seychelles.”

Dr Li Jijun, a radiologist, shared that for him Seychelles has the perfect medical system and medical process. He did not have much problem communicating with local doctors and patients and he worked smoothly for the last two years.


How it started?

It was in 1963 that the first China medical team arrived in Algeria, opening a new chapter of China-Africa cooperation in the field of health. That was also a manifestation of the friendship between China and African countries. “We supported each other not only in the struggle to gain national independence, but also in developing our economic and social causes and creating a better world for our people and children through providing quality medical services. Over the past 6 decades, a total of 30,000 medical personnel joined the China medical team and provided services abroad. They have treated 290 million local patients in 76 countries and regions across five continents, winning extensive recognition worldwide. At the moment, the China medical aid teams are working at 115 sites in 56 countries, of which many are in remote areas with harsh conditions. With the dedication, professionalism, devotion to saving lives, no fear of hardships, humanitarianism, great love with practical actions, they saved hundreds and thousands of lives and gained recognition across the world,” shared Mr Jianfeng.


Vidya Gappy

Photos: Joena Meme




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