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Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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Zhao Zifang—Challenges and dedication in The Gambia’s ICU

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Zhao Zifang, a senior ICU doctor from Liaoning Provincial People’s Hospital, has gained extensive experience in managing high-risk and critically ill patients through rigorous medical education and professional training in China and abroad. These experiences have not only honed his medical skills but also developed his decision-making capabilities under pressure. He joined the medical aid team to The Gambia driven by his concern for global medical equity and the desire to use his expertise to serve a broader population.

In The Gambia, Zhao primarily managed the ICU department, dealing with various critical cases. Due to local limitations in medical resources and technology, he often had to operate in resource-poor conditions. Additionally, language and cultural differences added layers of complexity to his work, especially in communications with patients and local medical staff.

Despite these challenges, Zhao successfully improved local doctors’ capabilities in using modern ICU technologies. He notably advanced the practice of ultrasound-guided central venous catheterization, significantly enhancing the accuracy and safety of the procedure, which was crucial in improving the success rates of treatments for critically ill patients.

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His interactions with local medical personnel and patients underscored the importance of cultural sensitivity. Through continuous learning and adaptation, Zhao gradually overcame cultural and language barriers, establishing a cooperative relationship based on mutual respect and understanding with the local team. This overseas aid experience greatly enriched his career and deepened his understanding of global health disparities.

Looking ahead, Zhao aims to continue participating in international medical aid, bringing his knowledge and experience to more regions in need. He also plans to further his education and learn more advanced medical techniques to play an even greater role in future aid efforts, contributing to global medical equity. This experience in Africa has become a valuable part of his career, inspiring him to keep advancing in his field.

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