Doc­tor gains rich re­wards

China Daily (Canada) - - PEOPLE - By ZHAO RUIXUE in Ji­nan, Shan­dong zhaoruixue@chi­

Qiao Li, a doc­tor from East China’s Shan­dong province, says there have been many in­tan­gi­ble re­wards from spend­ing the past year work­ing in Tan­za­nia.

Qiao, 37, from Zibo No 1 Hospi­tal, is among the 25 doc­tors se­lected from across Shan­dong to work in Tab­ora, Tan­za­nia, for two years, start­ing in Au­gust 2015.

“One day, a cou­ple ran to me and said ‘Chi­nese doc­tor, wait.’ (‘Dak­tari wa China, subili subili’ in Swahili, which along with English is widely used in Tan­za­nia.) I had got­ten off a full day’s duty. They wanted me to check their child, who had been sick for days,” Qiao says.

She ex­am­ined the child and gave them a pre­scrip­tion, and told them how to use the medicine and when to re­turn for a checkup.

“The cou­ple gave me a thumbs-up and said ‘Thanks, China.’ (‘Asante, China.’),” Qiao re­calls.

“The thumbs-up was the best re­ward for my work,” she says.

That day, Qiao up­dated her so­cial media by post­ing: “Although tired, I am de­lighted that I am needed and rec­og­nized by lo­cal peo­ple in Tab­ora, which makes me feel the true mean­ing of be­ing a doc­tor who travels afar to work in a strange place. It’s worth­while.”

Be­fore start­ing work, Qiao re­ceived half a year of train­ing on a wide range of top­ics, in­clud­ing oral English, med­i­cal English and eti­quette. Still, she says she en­coun­tered many chal­lenges when she be­gan her job at Kitete Re­gional Hospi­tal in Tab­ora.

“It took me three months to get used to their lan­guage. Be­fore, I used ges­tures to com­mu­ni­cate with lo­cal peo­ple,” Qiao says.

She says she also put in a lot of over­time.

But Qiao says she was happy to find that lo­cal doc­tors in Tab­ora were open and re­cep­tive to learn­ing new med­i­cal skills.

“They were in­ter­ested in learn­ing and find­ing so­lu­tions, such as how best to give a child a de­tailed health checkup and how to cure chronic cough. We tried our best to show them im­prove­ments in how to con­duct their med­i­cal prac­tice,” Qiao says.

She says from a long-term per­spec­tive, that is the most im­por­tant work she’s done while abroad.

“In the long run, those who can save Tan­za­nian pa­tients are lo­cal doc­tors rather than we who work in Tan­za­nia for a lim­ited time,” says Qiao.

Dur­ing pub­lic hol­i­days, Qiao and her team­mates vol­un­teered in Urambo to give lo­cal peo­ple ex­am­i­na­tions.

“The hospi­tal was crowded with

The thumbs-up was the best re­ward for my work.” from Zibo No 1 Hospi­tal, is among the doc­tors se­lected from across Shan­dong province

peo­ple who came to seek med­i­cal help, and they greeted us with lo­cal lan­guage, mak­ing us feel we are warmly wel­come,” she says.

Qiao has been at home in Zibo for a 36-day break af­ter fin­ish­ing the first year of work in Tab­ora. She is set to re­turn to Tan­za­nia on Aug 31.

“I cher­ish every day I spend with my fam­ily mem­bers, cooking for them and telling them what I saw and ex­pe­ri­enced in Tan­za­nia.

“It’s not easy for my fam­ily mem­bers. I no­tice more wrin­kles have crept over my par­ents’ faces,” she says.

Qiao’s son is now 2 years old. “When I left last year, he could only say baba, but now he can say al­most ev­ery­thing. He tells his lit­tle friends that his mother is help­ing other kids in Tan­za­nia, and he can point ex­actly to Tan­za­nia’s lo­ca­tion, as well as to other African coun­tries, on the map,” says Qiao.

Chang Xu con­trib­uted to this story.


Qiao Li ex­am­ines a child in Tan­za­nia.

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