Chinese cardiologist praises working partnership

A partnership between local medical professionals and the Chinese medical team has proven to be a success in knowledge and skills exchange. 

This was according to Dr. Zhang Zhiguo, a cardiologist from China, who is currently in Samoa as part of the Chinese medical team.

Speaking during an interview with the Samoa Observer, Dr. Zhiguo shared his experience working in Samoa with local colleagues. 

“I have always wanted to work as a volunteer and when given the opportunity to work in Samoa I was keen. 

“I noticed that the English language plays an important role in the work that we do, because communication between the medical professionals in Samoa is important, so we can get the work done.

“The only challenge faced at the hospitals in Samoa is the limited resources, in reference to the equipment and medicine, thus making it difficult to treat patients. But I have learned a lot from the local doctors, because they worked so hard with the use of the resources available to them,” he said.

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The 41-year-old said he usually did his rounds on patients with heart diseases, and if there were emergencies needing his advice, he would assist.  

“I have been to the big island of Savaii at the Tuasivi hospital and I also checked the patients there.

“Samoa may have a high number of patients with diabetes, but diabetes is a complication of heart disease, and because there are so many uncontrolled diabetes which causes an increase in heart failure. 

“For my line of work, I need a lot of equipment to help with my work, but it was not available here. For some of the patients they need to seek treatment overseas, closest which is New Zealand, due to the limited resources (in Samoa),” he added. 

Lifestyle diseases is at a crisis level in Samoa, consequently Dr. Zhiguo recommended that people switch to organic food like vegetables as well as do regular exercise.

“Be careful of consuming junk food and processed foods, no salt and be careful with the amount of sugar being used — instead focus on the local organic vegetables, fruits which are beneficial for the health. We have to control our body weight through regular exercise as well,” he said.

Overall, Dr. Zhiguo said his work experience in Samoa is valuable, as he will use the new knowledge he has gained to attend to patients back in China. 

“When I go back home, I will use the knowledge that I have exchanged with local doctors on treating patients back home. Samoa has beautiful natural sites, good for holidays and resting plus the people are very kind. 

“I have been a doctor for 14 years and having the capability to save a life makes me inspired to do better every time. Sometimes I am homesick, missing my wife and daughter back home, but I am relieved they are very supportive of my work,” he added.

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