free outreach program, Nancile Nyiraneza was nervous and in pain as she stood in line, with a baby strapped on her back, at Gahanga Health Center on the outskirts of Kigali, Rwanda’s capital.

Chinese medical teams free outreach program offers relief to Rwandans

The 40-year-old subsistence farmer was one of the hundreds of Rwandan residents of the Kicukiro district who took advantage of a three-day free medical outreach program set up at the health center starting Tuesday by the Chinese medical team to help those with inadequate access to specialized treatment. “I have suffered from back pain for the last five years. free outreach program, Sometimes I treat it and there seems to be a relief,” she said. “But it keeps coming back. It affects my farming activities because with this pain I cannot bend for long, so I have come here for treatment.” The mother of five said her untreated back problem had led to muscle pains. She said she had been treated by an on-site doctor over the years, but the prescribed drugs were not effective. A team of Chinese specialized medics based at Masaka Hospital in the capital Kigali and Kibungo referral hospital in Eastern Province joined up to provide free health care services to patients at Gahanga Health Center. Despite gloomy weather, patients started arriving at the health center for the Chinese medical team outreach as early as 5 a.m., local time. The physicians are expected to tend to at least 300 patients by the end of three days. After being examined, Nyiraneza was given medicine that she hoped would heal her. She received information about free treatment from health counselors in her village.

As the seasonal planting season approaches, Nyiraneza expressed anxiety about not being able to till her garden and having to spend on food. “The sickness affects my farming activities; as we talk, the planting season is approaching but I’m afraid I will not be able to work as I should,” she said. “Even in the daily home chores which require bending, it becomes a big challenge.” “I thank the Chinese medical team for extending free treatment to Rwandans. I thank them for thinking about us. I trust that we shall heal. free outreach program, There are some people with chronic diseases and this outreach program is a welcome gesture,” she said. Theogene Ngendahayo, 48, another resident went to the medical outreach with an eye defect. He said although he had suffered an eye defect for a long time, he had not treated it because it required specialized treatment which is costly. “I came here after I heard it was free treatment,” said Ngendahayo. “I’m not able to read. When I try to read even a short text my eyes turn red. We thank the Chinese medics, God bless them.” Guo Hao, the interpreter of the 22nd China Medical Team, said 11 doctors and one nurse were involved to provide specialized services in surgery, maternity, stomatology, orthopedics, internal medicine and traditional Chinese medicine. “Most patients come with chronic diseases. The patients we cannot treat from here are referred to Masaka Hospital. Cases which cannot be handled at Masaka Hospital are referred to another hospital,” he said. It’s an annual outreach program. “Patients are grateful after the treatment. The program had been halted due to COVID-19,” said Guo. Jean Marie Vianney Barinzi, the head of the health center, said they received between 100 and 150 patients a day.

Besides the free treatment, the Chinese medical team donated assorted essential internal medicines, including antihypertensive drugs, hypoglycemic drugs, and some commonly used antibiotics, as well as anti-pandemic materials, including masks, and hand sanitizers. “The donation and free treatment make a big impact, especially for our patients who seek treatment without medical insurance. Such donations and free treatment contribute to the improvement of our community’s health. It also helps residents save money and time,” said Barinzi. “Free medical outreach deepens cooperation between Rwanda and China. We ask residents to take advantage of the free medical outreach to meet with specialized medics.” Chen Zhihong, one of the Chinese medics, said because the local residents live in relatively remote areas, free outreach program, it is very difficult to see a doctor. “We came to the health center to provide everyone with great convenience. Some patients wait in line for many days to see a doctor, so when our Chinese doctors see these patients who have come from afar, no matter how late we work overtime, we have to help them, ” Chen said. This year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s medical aid to Rwanda, and foreign medical aid has been passed down from generation to generation. Chen said there is no problem with Chinese doctors in terms of technology. “We need to improve the training of the Rwandan language Kinyarwanda in the future. It is conducive to the communication between doctors and patients, and it is also conducive to better communication between doctors from the two countries.

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