A 10 member Chinese doctors delegation from the 16th Chinese Brigade, has arrived in the country to support health functions as well as impart knowledge in some medical aspects especially in areas where Zimbabwe has a deficit in medical expertise.
By Michael Gwarisa
The Chinese team which comprise of anesthesiologists, oncologists, Radiologists among other fields will be in the country for a one year period and will be stationed at Parirenyatwa group of Hospitals.
In an interview at his offices soon after arrival of the delegation, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC), Dr Gerald Gwinji said the visit by the Chinese team would go a long way in capacity building of local doctors as the country was facing a huge deficit in doctors especially in various areas.
“Today we have received colleagues in the health profession from China who come as the 16th Chinese brigade in terms of medical health cooperation between ourselves and the people’s republic of China. We have enjoyed this cooperation since independence and periodically they send teams of specialists that we specifically request to help augment functions in health service delivery.
“So far we have had 15 brigades and today we have received nine members of the 16th brigade. These are specialists in various areas including neurology, orthopedics, radiology, some are internal physicians some anesthesiologists. So they come in and marry up with our local specialists and they provide a service for a period varying from a year to tow years, howeverr this team will be here for just one year,” said Dr Gwinji.
He added that the team will also be seeing the teaching aspects as well as the clinical services side of the hospital. The team will be part of the health delivery team and will be working with local doctors to form bigger teams that help the various specialists areas.
The Perm Sec however bemoaned the huge deficit in doctors countrywide and called on decentralization of health sciences studies to other provincial tertiary institutions.
“Indeed there is a huge deficit in terms of what we need. As you know health practice or medicine is not one sort of specialty, we need various forms of specialist and we need them all over the country.
“As you know at this stage, some of specialists are stationed in Harare and Bulawayo, some Gweru , Mutare and maybe in Masvingo. They are various areas of specialization. We are very short of orthopedic surgeons, anesthesiologists. In the interim we cooperate with countries we cooperate with bilaterally, to cover for that gap” said Dr Gwinji.
He also said plans to beef up the local medical staff were underway as government is working with various Tertiary institutions around the country with view of seeing them offer medical/health sciences.
Meanwhile, Chinese delegation team leader Shu Chuqiang said they were looking forward to working in the Zimbabwe over the next one year in various areas which need their expertise.