50 medical workers die in 50-year foreign aid

Updated: 2013-08-10 14:16


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BEIJING - A total of 50 Chinese medical workers have died while on foreign aid missions over the past 50 years, according to a Chinese health official on Friday.

Ren Minghui, a senior official in charge of the international cooperation department of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, made the comments at a regular press conference held by the authority.

This year is the 50th anniversary for China sending pro-bono medical teams overseas, especially to developing countries.

Since 1963, 23,000 medical workers have been sent to 66 countries and regions, providing services for 260 million people, Ren said.

At present, 1,171 Chinese medical workers are in 113 medical centers in 49 countries and regions, among which 42 are in Africa, the official said.

In addition to disease treatment and prevention, health workers have also introduced advanced medical sciences and clinical techniques to the countries.

Acupuncture, massage and other traditional Chinese treatments have also been introduced, Ren said.

According to the official, China has also sponsored the building of more than 100 hospitals and offered medical equipment and medicines to African countries.

The commission is considering programs such as short-term circuit clinics and specialist medical facilities to further improve service quality, Ren said.