The Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda Shen Yong-xiang last week toured Kinihira Hospital in Rulindo District as he seeks ways of improving health and strengthening technical cooperation between Rwanda and China.
The ambassador was accompanied by a team of 16 specialist doctors, including surgeons and gynecologists, among others, who will be operating in the hospital.
As part of the visit, the team donated equipment valued at Rwf4.3 million. The donation included medicine, traditional Chinese therapy, theatre appliances and dental instruments.
Amb. Shen said the visit symbolises the healthy cooperation between Rwanda and China, adding that the doctors would closely work with the hospital to improve healthcare.
“Despite the distance between our countries, the Chinese and Rwandan people have kept close ties through exchange programmes since forging diplomatic ties in 1971,” Amb. Shen said.
The visit was also in the spirit of marking the 50th anniversary of Chinese medical teams working on the African continent and the 30th year in Rwanda.
The Governor of Northern Province, Aime Bosenibamwe, said the initiative will boost local healthcare practitioners.
“This will help Rwandan doctors share professional experience with their Chinese counterparts,” Bosenibamwe said.
Abdul Utumatwishima, the hospital director, said it is a symbol of improving the already existing services and gaining more experience by learning the use of Chinese traditional medicine.
“When you work as a team with doctors who are more experienced, it definitely adds value and the services get better,” Utumatwishima said.
He said the Chinese medicine is “unique and exceptional” because no drug is given to a patient, instead only miniature needles are used (acupuncture).
Acupuncture is applied to patients who suffer from paralysis-related diseases, which, according hospital officials, affects muscles, backbone or the vertebra.
The hospital started a year ago and has six general practitioners and 40 nurses. It receives at least 900 patients a month.