by Wang Qibing, Chen Junxia
GENEVA, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Micaela Serafini, the head of the Health Unit of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), praised the remarkable contributions by Chinese medical teams to global healthcare over the past six decades.
In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, Serafini lauded the unique role played by Chinese medical teams in areas most in need of medical services, adding that as a humanitarian organization, the ICRC has seen them working in conflict zones, providing medical and health assistance to the people there.
"We are very pleased to find ourselves not alone in these places and to know that the Chinese medical teams can carry out the work that neither governments, health authorities, nor humanitarian organizations can cope with on their own," said Serafini.
Over the past six decades, China has sent medical teams consisting of 30,000 members to 76 countries and regions across five continents, providing 290 million diagnoses and treatments for local people.
Chinese medical teams are currently working at 115 sites in 56 countries around the world, of which nearly half are in remote areas with harsh conditions.
Serafini said that people need to recognize that China is an influential global health actor which has promoted universal health around the world.
The "Chinese hospital," a hospital initiated by China in Afghanistan's southern Kandahar city, for example, has been delivering the ICRC's assistance to people in the city, according to Serafini.
Built with support from the Chinese government in the 1970s, the hospital is the only large-scale hospital in the province of Kandahar, enjoying a great reputation as one of the most advanced medical institutions in southern Afghanistan.
"So there is a nice collaboration between us through a Chinese initiative of building a hospital," she said, adding that the ICRC and China medical aid teams do complement each other in some African countries and benefit these communities.
She said that Chinese medical teams have been increasingly deployed worldwide, not only assessing but also examining the public health impact of their assistance.
She also noted that China's medical aid teams have gained extensive experience in security and safety management in conflict and violence-prone areas through their collaboration with the ICRC.
"We hope that this shared expertise would lead to more synergies and common ground between us," she added. ■