In 1963, China sent its first medical team of 10 people to Africa on the invitation of the Algerian government a few months after it declared independence in July, 1962. Since then, China has sent 3,317 medical workers to Algeria.
The 27th team set off in late August, although the pandemic still showed no sign of receding. Its members come from 58 public medical institutions in Hubei, including doctors of gynecology and obstetrics, anesthesia, surgery and ophthalmology, according to Yang Yong, chief of the 27th team.
In 1975, a Chinese medical team started the first TCM acupuncture class in Algeria and trained 25 doctors in two years. In 2017, the two governments signed an agreement for China to send five TCM doctors every year to offer targeted treatment and organize regular training for Algerian doctors.
Besides receiving tens of thousands of patients, the 27th team also helped popularize cervical cancer screenings, held academic exchanges about pregnancy-induced hypertension and gestational diabetes with local doctors, and supported epidemic control work.
Yang and his team didn't return to China for Spring Festival in early February. "We know our responsibilities. There is no national boundary to saving lives. We hope to increase the health levels of Algerians and enhance China-Africa friendship," he said.