By Majd Othman
KUWAIT: To honor the outgoing batch of the Chinese medical team in Kuwait, the ministry of health held on Tuesday a farewell ceremony in the presence of Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jianwei, Rehab Al-Watian, Director of International Health Relations Department of the Ministry of Health, Dr Salah Al-Shayji, Director of Natural Medicine and Rehabilitation Hospital, a medical team and a number of officials.
Zhang said in his speech during the ceremony that Kuwait is the first among Gulf countries to establish diplomatic relations with China, and also the only Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) state where a Chinese medical team is stationed. “Over the past four decades and more, China has dispatched 222 medical workers in total who have diagnosed and treated around 800,000 patients in Kuwait. It is meaningful to look back at this episode of history, as it marked the shared journey our two nations have traveled and witnessed the development of our special, friendly ties,” he said.
“The program of sending a Chinese medical team to Kuwait is merely an epitome of our health cooperation and strategic partnership at large. Facing the challenge imposed by COVID-19, our two countries have pulled together and looked out for each other. Kuwait provided assistance of medical supplies to China, while China dispatched a medical expert group to help with Kuwait’s response to the virus,” Zhang pointed out.” On international cooperation on humanitarian and health assistance, our two countries always keep it in mind that the entire humanity is bonded by the same future,” he said.
“Kuwait also has given many developing countries long-term assistance with hospitals and schools. In 2014, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, the late Amir of Kuwait, was awarded the honor of ‘Humanitarian Leader’ by the United Nations. After the pandemic broke out, both China and Kuwait financed and engaged in global cooperation against the pandemic and supported the WHO’s COVAX initiative. This gives a vivid expression to President Xi Jinping’s vision of building a global community of health for all. There are more examples of our sincere friendship and win-win cooperation like these. All in all, China and Kuwait are close friends and good partners that share the same goals and join hands,” Zhang said.
Watian expressed her gratitude to the Chinese medical team for the services provided throughout their work in the hospitals of the ministry of health. “The medical team was a model of excellence at work and providing the required service. According to the contract between China and the Kuwaiti ministry of health, the team was a living example of healthy diplomacy and a confirmation of friendly relations between the two countries that Kuwait is proud of,” she said.
“Kuwait is looking forward to strengthening the relationship with China and exchanging experiences and initiatives in order to meet the challenges facing our health system and development plans, which requires joint work and strengthening trust among friendly countries,” Watian added.
Dr Shayji thanked the medical team for their help to the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PMR) Hospital. “They were committed to the hospital’s rules and regulations, and respecting our culture and regulations of the ministry of health, in addition to their great role in relieving the pain of our patients with professional medical skills and meticulous modalities, so that the patients who see the doctor get proper treatment,” he said. “They popularize the Chinese medicine culture and Chinese medicine technology, providing the hospital with more diversified medical services for visiting patients, which has been widely praised by our patients.”