Academic Activities
Academic Activities

The CAI hosts the 18th China Lecture in Algeria

Writer:An Ni Date : Mar.15, 2024

The 18th China Lecture, co-hosted by China-Africa Institute (CAI) and Algeria-China Friendship Association was held at the School of Medicine, the University of Algiers 1, locally known as Algiers University in Algeria on March 6, 2024. Professor Merzak Gharnaout, Dean of the School of Medicine, the University of Algiers 1, and Zhao Pingsheng, Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Algeria delivered speeches at the lecture themed “Stories of Chinese Medical Teams aiding Africa”.

Professor Li Xinfeng, executive president of the CAI; and Smail Debeche, president of the Algeria-China Friendship Association presided over the lecture. Smail Debeche has received the Chinese Government Friendship Award for outstanding foreign experts, and the Award for Excellent Contributions to China-Algeria Friendship. The event was attended by more than 50 people, including experts, members of the media, teachers and students from Algerian universities, and members of the 28th batch of Chinese medical team aiding Algeria.

On behalf of the University of Algiers 1, professor Merzak Gharnaout extended his warm welcome to the CAI delegations and members of the Chinese medical team attending the event. He spoke highly of the Chinese medical workers who have made great contribution to improve the health service in Algeria, and this lecture would inspire university teachers and students with revealing stories.

The 18th China Lecture 

Before the lecture, participants watched a documentary film marking the 60th anniversary of China dispatching its first medical team to Algeria. In his keynote speech, professor Liu Ronghua from Tongji Hospital of Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST), also head of the Chinese medical team stationed in Setif, shared stories of himself working as a gynaecology and obstetrics doctor in Setif and establishing deep friendships with the local people.

He told stories about an Algerian anesthesiologist named Mohammed who developed close friendship with Chinese doctors during work. Whenever Chinese surgeons need help during the operation Mohammed would be the first one to offer assistance. When members of the 28th batch of Chinese medical team aiding Algeria came to visit Mohammed, he hurried joyously to show them photos of him with his Chinese doctor friends. To celebrate the Chinese Spring Festival, Mohammed kindly invited the Chinese doctors along with three respectable elderly men in the village to his farm to see his beloved horses and taste local Algerian food.

Participants at the lecture watching documentary film marking the 60th anniversary of China dispatching its first medical team to Algeria

Doctor Liu Siming, from Hubei Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), also head of the TCM Center of Chinese medical team to Algeria shared a story about a 19-year-old Algerian boy who suffered from lumbago and severe pain in his right lower limb. She said, the young boy completely recovered after receiving acupuncture and cupping treatments and practicing Ba Duan Jin, an easy-to-learn physical exercise that is proven effective for health and fitness. Later he even introduced this traditional Chinese exercise to his mum. Doctor Liu Siming also spoke about TCM’s development in Algeria, its application, influence and prospects.

Wang Hongyi, associate research fellow of the CAI delivered a speech “History and prospect of China-Africa cooperation in Health”, focusing on four development stages, the characteristics and prospects of China-Africa cooperation in health.

Professor Li Xinfeng said, since the dispatch of the first medical team in April, 1963, China has sent medical workers of over 30,000 person times to Africa, who have treated about 230 million patients, including 30 million in Algeria, and helped to deliver 2 million babies. The Chinese medical teams in Africa were widely hailed by African people for their outstanding medical skills and good virtue, which fully illustrated the spirit of Chinese medical teams - "fearless of hardships, willingness to dedicate, saving lives and helping the wounded with boundless love".

Professor Li Xinfeng said, no matter how the world has changed over the past six decades, leaders of both China and Africa have attached great importance to the work of Chinese medical teams in Africa. The first Chinese medical team to Algeria had met twice with the former Algerian president Ahmed Ben Bella who highly appreciated their work in the country.

In February 2023, in his reply letter to members of the Chinese medical teams to Africa, Chinese president Xi Jinping extended his heartfelt regards to all those who are or were on China's international medical aid missions, as 2023 marks the 60th anniversary of the occasion when China sent its first medical aid team abroad. Professor Li Xinfeng noted that we should set the 60th anniversary as a starting point and continue to seek for innovation in cooperation, so as to make greater contribution to build a China-Africa community in health and China-Africa community with a shared future.

Group photo

In the Q & A session, African teachers and students said they were deeply touched by the dedication and great love of the Chinese medical teams in Africa. They had a communication with the team members on topics such as designation of the team members and the treatments of TCM and western medicine. The event was reported by Algerian medias including Algeria’s renowned newspaper and news media, La Patrie News and El Moudjahid.

During their visit in Algeria, the CAI delegations also visited the National Institute of Global Strategy Studies, Algeria-China Friendship Association, Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the Democratic Republic of Algeria, and held meetings with representatives of Chinese enterprises in Algeria.