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Chinese doctors perform surgery in Rwanda with flashlight for illumination

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Chinese medical doctors at a local hospital in Kigali, the Rwandan capital, have performed successful surgery on a Rwandan man injured in a car accident, using a flashlight for illumination after surgical lights malfunctioned.

“Last week on Friday, I was riding a bicycle and all of a sudden, I was knocked by a car. I immediately got a leg fracture and the pain was too much for me to bear,” recalled Gilbert Manirakiza.

Manirakiza, 20, was taken to Masaka Hospital, Masaka Sector in the suburbs of Kigali in excruciating pain after the accident and was attended to by the Chinese doctors there who promised to treat him and ease the pain.

“Before my leg was operated on, I was feeling a lot of pain. I couldn’t walk or shake my leg due to pain. Now, I am feeling much better because the pain has significantly reduced after undergoing a specialized surgical operation,” said Manirakiza. “I thank the Chinese doctors for treating and easing my pain, however, I still feel mild pain whenever I try to fold my leg. The Chinese doctors are really experts in surgical operation.”

The surgery, which lasted four hours, was performed by the doctors on the 22nd China Medical Team in Rwanda who started medical work activities in Rwanda on Jan. 1. The 15-member medical team is comprised of specialized doctors from departments including surgery, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics, anesthesiology. They have so far performed more than 50 successful operations.

Manirakiza is one of many Rwandan patients who have benefited from specialized medical care provided by Chinese doctors in the country.

“During the operation of the accident patient the operating light surgery lamp malfunctioned and at this time, I came up with the idea of using a flashlight. When we finished the operation, the local anesthesiologist gave us a thumbs-up. At that moment, we all felt tired but satisfied and relieved,” said Peng Jikui, Chinese medical team leader at Masaka Hospital, noting the malfunctioning of the lighting lamp made it quite challenging to complete the delicate operation.

“It is the first time we had this kind of surgery under such conditions in a foreign country. We expected many difficulties, but we felt sympathy when we saw the patients in pain,” said Yao Rui, a Chinese orthopaedist at Masaka Hospital.

Due to financial difficulties and spending a long time waiting for an operation, some patients at the hospital get disabilities, said Yao. “As doctors, we know that this was a big difficult situation, after discussions, we decided to help the patient. We do our best to relieve the pain no matter how difficult the situation is.”

The whole medical operation required much attention, recounted Yao. “We were all very focused during the operation. At the end of the operation, the surgical gowns on the doctors were all soaked in sweat.”

According to Yao, Manirakiza will take at least three months to fully recover and walk normally.

The China-Rwanda medical cooperation started in 1982 and has since seen hundreds of Chinese doctors serve in the East African country. Over the years, Chinese doctors have treated locals and relieved their illnesses, exchanged ideas with Rwandan counterparts, and disseminated experience and technology.

mwa

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