Overseas Medical Mission: Chinese Doctor Recounts Service Experience In Africa

The book, “My Ten Years In Africa: The Diary Of A Chinese Doctor,” by Dr Wu Minxian, was launched in the Chinese capital, Beijing, on April 23, 2017.


China has been sending medical assistance teams to Africa since 1963. By 2013, over 20,000 Chinese medical professionals serving abroad had treated 30 million patients. Today, China has medical assistance teams in 49 countries, 42 of them in Africa. Wu Minxian, a Chinese surgeon, served in Eritrea, Ethiopia and Zambia from 2001-2015 as part of this programme. The 54-year-old Medical Doctor on April 23, 2017, launched his book, “My Ten Years In Africa: The Diary Of A Chinese Doctor,” in the Chinese capital, Beijing.

In attendance were senior Chinese health officials and Gou Haodong, Counsellor in the Chinese Embassy in Tanzania and Minister Counsellor of the Chinese Medical Mission in Africa. Also present was Teshombe Shunde Hamito, the Public Diplomacy Counsellor in the Ethiopian Embassy in China. “Overseas medical aid is not only an honoured long-term task full of hardship, but also an important foreign policy measure for promoting South-South cooperation,” the author told guests. Dr Minxian said his aim was not just to write his story, but to also offer the public a glimpse of the great work carried out in Africa by Chinese medical workers since the 1960s.

“The stories in my book may not be written in a vivid manner, but they represent my life in Africa, which is unforgettable,” he noted. Gou Haodong, who wrote the foreword and reviewed the work, said over 50 Chinese medical personnel have died in the course of duty in Africa. “Dr Wu Minxian overcame all these challenges and treated over 30,000 patients, making him a hero to local people,” Haodong said. Dr Wu Minxian has been practising medicine for almost 30 years. “My Ten Years In Africa: The Diary Of A Chinese Doctor,” is published by World Affairs Press in Chinese; with translations into English and French expected soon.

His first book, “In A Country Where A Year Has 13 Months,” was written in Ethiopia. The 362-page glossy cover new work has three chapters – one each for his experiences in Eritrea, Ethiopia and Zambia. The book carries a comment from African Union Commission Chair, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. The stories include Dr Minxian’s service life, relations with patients, colleagues and local people; the culture and history of the three countries, his travel and local dishes.

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