Members of Chinese medical teams welcome the arrival of the Peace Ark, a hospital ship of the Chinese Navy, at Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, in July. JIANG SHAN/FOR CHINA DAILY
Nation has sent 90 specialists since 2002 to offer assistance
For patients in Papua New Guinea's Port Moresby General Hospital, it is not strange to see doctors from China. They have been on call over the past 16 years.
Since 2002, China has sent nine medical teams, with a total of 90 specialists, to the Pacific island nation to help improve its medical services under an agreement between the two countries.
Liu Rui, a 34-year-old oncologist from Chongqing, is a member of the ninth medical team, which arrived in Port Moresby in June to start a one-year stint.
"I'm so proud that I can do something on behalf of my motherland and set a good example for my 5-year-old daughter," she said.
At first she was concerned over possible difficulties such as public security and her uncertainty over how local people view outsiders.
However, all anxiety vanished as soon as she felt the local people's great enthusiasm and friendliness toward Chinese.
PNG is a country with a high incidence of malignant tumors, especially breast and oral cancer. Besides routine work, Liu spends a lot of time running cancer prevention programs and sharing treatment knowledge with local medical workers, as well as employees of government departments.
"Knowledge knows no borders. I found that as long as you are willing to sincerely help, they will give you great warmth and encouragement in return," Liu said.
Every time Liu provides outpatient services, Noga Ove, a nurse in the cancer clinic, will stand by her side to help her communicate with patients who can't speak English.
Due to a lack of computers in the hospital, sometimes Ove has to go to the laboratory and copy the report results by hand so that patients can be properly diagnosed.
"Ove never complains about the heat or hard work, and is always dedicated, enthusiastic and full of patience and concentration," Liu said.
Ove said: "Doctor Liu is a very humble and hardworking person, and is always willing to share her specialist knowledge with the nursing staff of the cancer clinic, and we are pleased to have her here. The continuous volunteer work and contribution of the Chinese medical teams is of great assistance to the people of PNG."
Over the past few years, the Chinese medical teams together with local medical staff have provided services for nearly 100,000 patients and saved numerous patients. They also trained thousands of local medical workers in PNG.
"The Chinese medical teams have passed on Chinese people's affection to the PNG people through their hard work, and serve as the bridge of people-to-people exchanges between the two countries," said Liu Linlin, economic and commercial counselor of the Chinese embassy in PNG.
"Undoubtedly, the medical team members are China's unofficial ambassadors in the country," the diplomat said.