In Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, a Chinese doctor from the "Trip to Brightness" examines cataracts of a local patient. (Photo: Xinhua)
"China has the practical experience and economic influence to exert great influence to the billions of lives along the Belt and Road," said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO).
From the prevention and control of infectious diseases and health assistance, to the training of talents and the promotion of Chinese medicine, China has been continuously deepening health exchanges and cooperation with countries along the Belt and Road.
Medical cooperation around the world
In September 2017, China sent a medical team consisting of 12 staff to provide medical services in the local emergency center jointly built by China and Pakistan in Pakistan's Gwadar, where the health and epidemic prevention situation is dire.
Within half a year, the center received over 1,000 Chinese and Pakistani patients. The Chinese medical workers also carried out a physical examination for students of a local primary school.
The high-quality medical services earned the Chinese team a fantastic reputation, and Chinese hospitals became the first choice for local patients.
In January 2017, China signed a memorandum of understanding on medical and health cooperation with the WHO, expanding this pragmatic cooperation to Belt and Road countries, regions and even the rest of the world.
In the Royal Hospital of Kabul, Afghanistan, an expert from the medical team of Chinese Red Cross screens children for congenital heart disease. (Photo: Xinhua)
Win worldwide recognition with strong capabilities
Since the Belt and Road initiative was proposed, Chinese medical teams have traveled to more places to help prevent and cure diseases, improve medical conditions and train medical personnel for local health centers.
A few days ago, the Chinese Navy hospital ship "Peace Ark" finished its friendly visit to Fiji. During its visit, while the main platform of "Peace Ark" remained open around the clock, the hospital ship sent 12 medical teams over four successive days to offer services in local community health centers.
The hospital ship even had an ambulance helicopter take a medical team to Vatulele, an island located over 100 kilometers away from Fiji's capital, to offer the most urgent medical services to people on the island.
This year, the hospital ship has completed visits to many countries including Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Fiji. Last year, it sailed nearly 30,000 nautical miles along the "21st Century Maritime Silk Road" for 155 days to provide medical services for the people along the way.
This May, Chinese doctors performed a total of 208 cataract surgeries within 20 days in Namibia, during an activity undertaken by Peking Union Medical College Hospital.
Build international medical service centers
China has carried out medical cooperation with many countries along the Belt and Road to make the vision of a "Silk Road of Health" a reality.
The country has established an international medical service center in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, to build an international medical center for neighboring countries and promote international exchanges and cooperation of medical services.
The hospital has established an international medical service department, staffed itself with a workforce of relevant languages, and opened a "green channel" for foreign patients, to better serve those from other countries.
The high-quality medical services, low cost and geographical advantages of the international medical center have attracted many patients from neighboring countries.
At present, China is building another Belt and Road international medical service center at the starting point of the Silk Road, in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi province. Upon completion, the center will become a comprehensive international hospital with 15,000 beds. It will bring more benefits to people living along the Belt and Road.