Chinese Embassy & Health Ministry Bid Farewell to Batch 24th, Welcome Batch 25th of Chinese Medical Team

By Millicent Senava Mannah

In a significant ceremony marking the transition between medical teams in Sierra Leone, the Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, His Excellency Ambassador Wang Qing, warmly welcomed distinguished guests to the Chinese Embassy. The occasion marked the Farewell & Welcome Ceremony for the 24th & 25th batches of the Chinese Medical Expert Team in Sierra Leone.

Present at the event were notable figures including the Honorable Minister of Health, Dr. Austin Demby, Deputy Minister ,Charles Senessie, other esteemed officials from the Ministry of Health (MOH), representatives from the Health Commission of Hunan Province of China, UNFPA, UNICEF, Jui Hospital, and various partners, alongside members of the Press.

Ambassador Wang Qing began by acknowledging the remarkable achievements of the departing 24th batch of the Chinese Medical Team, noting the significant milestones reached during their tenure. He highlighted their diligent efforts, including treating over 22,000 patients and performing over 450 operations during their year-long stay in Freetown. Ambassador Wang Qing shared touching stories of the team’s impact, such as restoring sight to a 105-year-old patient and performing complex surgeries to improve the lives of many.

The Ambassador also praised the outgoing team’s dedication to extending their services beyond medical treatment, organizing outreach clinics, participating in health education initiatives, and supporting the development of traditional medicine policies in Sierra Leone. He expressed heartfelt gratitude to the departing team and invited attendees to join him in a round of applause to honor their contributions.

Ambassador Wang Qing also extended a warm welcome to the incoming 25th Chinese Medical Team, emphasizing the critical role they will play in continuing the collaborative efforts between China and Sierra Leone in the health sector. He underscored the recent reaffirmation of commitment from both countries’ leaders during President Julius Maada Bio’s state visit to China, highlighting the importance of ongoing cooperation in public health, epidemic prevention, and medical team dispatch.

He outlined recent successful collaborations between China and Sierra Leone in healthcare, including the establishment of national health policies, international seminars and expert visits aimed at enhancing healthcare infrastructure and services. The second anniversary of President Bio’s “Hospitals on Wheels” initiative was mentioned, underscoring the innovative approaches being taken to improve healthcare accessibility in remote areas.

Ambassador Wang Qing further expressed confidence in the incoming 25th Chinese Medical Team and reiterated his commitment to deepening and expanding cooperation in the health sector. He thanked all partners involved and expressed optimism for the future of  the China-Sierra Leone friendship.

Minister of Health, Dr Austin Demby, described the day as a very special one for them, stating that China is the first country to donate vaccines to them and that the Jui hospital has been one of the major hospitals in the country.

He commended them for the mobile hospital buses, which according to him, reaches people in their different communities for medical screening.

Dr. Demby pointed out that 70% of those that access the hospital buses are women and children and that  men only go to the hospital when they are in critical conditions maintaining how the buses have made a lot of difference as they visit one community to the other.

“The people are grateful and thankful for what Batch 24 did for them, leaving their families and everything behind. What they have done is a testimony to true friendship in terms of sacrificing their time and energy, building relationships and friendship. Team 25 don’t be intimidated, I know when you come to the Jui Hospital, you will do bigger things, I trust you and the people of Sierra Leone trust you and welcome you to Sierra Leone. Let us build this relationship with strength and love,” he stated.

Director of Hunan Health Commission, Cao Yuebin, said in 1973 China began to send the first medical team to Sierra Leone, sent by their institution from Hunan Province. Since then, he added, they have jointly deepened cooperation in the field of medical and health care, jointly fought against Ebola and COVID-19, and jointly carried out projects such as “Guangming Action” maternal and child health, among others.

Captain of the 24th CMT, Dr. Chen Yong Jun, thanked the Embassy and the people of Sierra Leone for their support in making their stay warmed.

Captain of the 25th CMT, Dr. Lu Chao Qun, also expressed optimism and readiness to build on where Batch 24 left.

Dean of the Jui Hospital, Dr. Sarah Conteh disclosed that Batch 24 comprised of 21 personnel. She thanked the Team Leader and Team for their support to them and the Managements of the hospital.

“We are very much optimistic to what we would achieve this year and we look forward to the partnership.”

The ceremony concluded with a reaffirmation of solidarity and cooperation, symbolizing the enduring bond between the two nations in advancing healthcare and well-being for all.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here