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Treat half of Botswana’s tumor patients alone; Shoulder the double mission of doctor and messenger

Treat half of Botswana’s tumor patients alone; Shoulder the double mission of doctor and messenger
February 01
14:22 2019

Hou Peifeng, branch team leader of the 15th China medical team in Francistown, Botswana, M.D. & PhD, chief physician of the department of oncology, is now working in the department of oncology, Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital, the largest hospital in northern Botswana.
When Dr. Hou first came to work at the hospital, he was surprised to find that he would be the only oncologist in northern Botswana because there was a great shortage of oncologists. In his words, “I had no idea that I would be carrying on my shoulders the safety of cancer patients of half of the country .” He has lots of work to do, including treating both outpatients and inpatients. Since the oncology department has no exclusive wards, the patients are scattered in seven wards, namely, the first gynecological ward, the second gynecological ward, the male medical ward, the female medical ward, the male surgical ward, the female surgical ward and the private ward. These caused great practical difficulty and inconvenience to him. In order to treat as many patients as possible, Dr. Hou arranged his working days in a meticulous way and classified the patients. Every Monday and Friday, Dr. Hou goes around the hospital with a medical official and a nurse, making ward rounds one by one. The clinic hours are arranged on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. On Tuesday, he makes overall treatment plans for newly diagnosed cancer patients. On Wednesday, he makes chemotherapy plans for patients who need chemotherapy. On Thursday, he treats follow-up cancer patients. It is difficult for cancer patients to see a doctor in northern Botswana. Many patients are from remote rural areas. The farthest distance is 5 to 6 hours’ drive to Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital. Every time the patients come to see a doctor, they need to take a night bus one day in advance. In places with limited transportation, some patients even take donkey carts on the way. Considering the severity and particularity of tumor diseases, in order to allow as many patients as possible to receive timely and effective treatment, Dr. Hou always tries to arrange as many patient appointments as possible, shorten the appointment time and improve the efficiency of treatment. Therefore he wins the respect of local medical staff and patients.
As the branch team leader of the medical team, Dr. Hou also served as a bridge between the medical team and the local government and the Chinese chamber of commerce. There are only a few hundred Chinese in Francistown. Dr. Hou fully integrated the limited resources of the Chinese chamber of commerce. He has organized one large Mid-Autumn festival evening party and two large free clinic and donation activities with the Chinese chamber of commerce in Botswana during the past 9 months. He has invited mayors, lawmakers, local politicians and other important officials to participate in these activities, which has caused a good response in the local area. These activities helped to convey Chinese friendship, spread Chinese culture, and enhance the influence of the medical team and Chinese people in Botswana.
Dr. Hou’s practical actions vividly demonstrated the spirit of the China medical team, which is “brave to hardship, willing to sacrifice, heal the wounded and rescue the dying, love without borders”. He also took the initiative to act as an emissary and contributed to the friendship between China and Botswana, which was positively recognized and praised by the Chinese embassy in Botswana.

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