Hospital ship lends a helping hand

Updated: 2013-07-10 07:58

By Peng Yining (China Daily)

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A plethora of patients

"We are in the middle of the Indian Ocean. We're grateful for the helping hand extended by China," said Mohamed Fauzy, deputy manager of the GA Atoll Hospital on Villingili island. The hospital, the only one on Villingili, provides medical cover for the combined population of 16,000 on nine nearby islands.

Hospital ship lends a helping hand

The 10-year-old boy from a care home in the Maldives after undergoing surgery on the Peace Ark to remove two extra fingers on each hand. Photos by Zhang Hao / for China Daily

On the day the Peace Ark's medical crew provided treatment at Villingili, patients from a number of islands flooded the hospital's consulting rooms. Fauzy said he had arranged 30 appointments for each doctor, but by the end of the day the Chinese physicians had received more than 40 patients each.

The island's medical resources are limited and patients have to fly to the capital for diagnostic treatments such as computed tomography, also known as a CT scan. "But better-trained doctors are more important than expensive equipment," he said. "That's why the training sessions arranged by the Chinese medical teams have been so welcome. I wish the ship could stay longer, maybe for a month. I need to further my education in medical management."

Rear Admiral Shen Hao, commander of the 2013 Peace Ark mission, said, "There is an old saying: Give a man a fish and you feed him for one day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. This is not just an opportunity for people to learn more about China and her navy, but more importantly, it's a chance for China to help people and fulfill its responsibilities as the world's second-largest economy."

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