A handover ceremony between the 19th and 20th Chinese medical teams was held on Tuesday at the Chinese embassy in Kigali.
The 19th China Medical Team based at Kigali's Masaka hospital and Kibungo hospital in the southeast has successfully completed a one-year mission in Rwanda after performing over 500 surgical operations.
The outgoing medical team also donated medical equipment and materials to local hospitals, provided free medical services to villagers, and contributed to the improvement of the medical services and administrative management in Rwanda.
Permanent Secretary of Rwanda's Ministry of Health Jean-Pierre Nyemazi conveyed the message from the Minister of Health Diane Gashumba at the ceremony, thanking the Chinese government and the Chinese medical team for the support in the health sector and "excellent contribution" to the healthcare in Rwanda respectively.
The Chinese medical team support Rwanda in human resource, which is one of the challenges in Rwanda's healthcare system, said Nyemazi, adding that the Chinese medical team not only provide medical services but also help Rwandan doctors improve their capacity.
The government of Rwanda is willing to discuss how to move this partnership forward, he said.
The program of dispatching the Chinese medical team to Rwanda has been the flagship arrangement between China and Rwanda, said Xing Yuchun, charge d'affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Rwanda.
The non-stop medical program since 1982 is the demonstration of unbreakable cooperation between the Ministry of Health of Rwanda and China's National Health Commission, substantial and fruitful partnership between the two countries, and time-tested friendship between the two peoples, she said.
The health cooperation between China and Rwanda has been increasingly intensified in recent years. The Masaka Hospital Expansion Project, which will be the largest project funded by the Chinese government in Rwanda and the largest general hospital financed by the Chinese government throughout Africa, will start construction next year, Xing revealed.
She also said the Chinese government has decided to airlift medical supplies to Rwanda shortly to help Rwanda prevent Ebola.
Head of the 20th China Medical Team Wang Qi said the whole team is committed to doing their utmost to provide help to Rwandan people.
Nyemazi and Xing presented certificates of honor to members of the 19th medical team at the ceremony.
So far, 19 medical teams and over 250 doctors from China have worked in Rwanda since 1982.
The Chinese government started sending Chinese doctors to Africa in 1963. Up till now, more than 20,000 Chinese doctors have worked in Africa and more than 200 million patients have been treated, according to the embassy.