Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, May 25th, 2020

China and Afghanistan are “Heart to Heart” Brothers, Saving the Heart and the Children Admits of No Delay


China and Afghanistan are “Heart to Heart” Brothers, Saving the Heart and the Children Admits of No Delay

I have been very busy these few days, accompanying the Chinese Red Cross Foundation (CRCF) Medical Team to carry out a series of medical treatment activities in Kabul. But in the meanwhile, I’m quite happy because I truly felt the friendship between the peoples of our  two countries.
This is a project of treating Afghan children with Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) by the CRCF and the Afghan Red Crescent Society. Last August, crossing the heavy smoke of explosions, the CRCF Medical Team came to Kabul from Beijing and took 21 Afghan children with CHD disease back to China for treatment. Most of the children and their parents had never travelled out of their village. The trip was the children’s first time on a plane, first time going abroad and of course, first time undertaking an operation. All the children received timely, comprehensive and personalized treatment in Urumqi, and all the operations were very successful. This is  a miracle on earth! After a few weeks of recovery, children who came with a gray face and purple lips reinstated a flushed healthy look, and the long-absent smiles came back to the worried and sad parents. All the 21 children returned to health and all the 21 families came to have a bright future.
The Chinese medical team exerted all their strength and wisdom for these children. There was one operation lasting from 9 am to 4 pm, and the operating doctor Mr. Zhang Haibo, one of China's top pediatric heart surgery specialists in Shanghai Children's Medical Center, said that he had never seen such a complicated and severe state of CHD disease. During the operation, he didn’t eat or drink anything. Finally, he saved the two year old Mujiburahman’s heart. Top specialist Mr. Liu Mianfen, a 66-year-old veteran of Shanghai, suffered a poor eyesight and lack of stamina and had rarely been on the operation table any more. But in order to save the Afghan children, he forced himself to put on two pair of glasses and did the operation himself. The chairman of board of Shandong Buchang Pharma Mr. Zhao Buchang, who was 80 years old, provided a lot of valuable support and fund for the project. What is more touching is that he and his wife travelled a long way to Xinjiang to visit Afghan children, and brought Eid al-Adha  gifts to every child.
One thing is a little unfair: As the children were unconscious with anesthesia and  the doctors wearing masks during the operations, the children never had a close look at the faces of the doctors and couldn’t  really recognize them afterwards. But they knew the nurses well because the nurses took care of them everyday. By the time of departure, the children and the nurses had already been like a family and the scene of farewell was very touching.
This is an Angel project. The footsteps we hear from the Chinese angels are rush but steady. It is a race against death, a relay of life and an reinforcement of happiness.   
This year, the CRCF Medical Team will treat 79 more Afghan children with CHD disease. A total of 100 small hearts will be able to regain health and returned to vigorous beating. But there are still more than 7,000 children with CHD disease in Afghanistan. The thought of the number 100 against 7,000 makes all of us heart-breaking. However, with all our capabilities and limited resources, we will still work hard and save the life every day. We may cure the heart, but may not change the whole situation. We are happy for the children who have been treated, but are very worried for those who still remain to be treated. The days of satisfaction and relief are yet far from near!
H.E. First Lady Ms. Rula Ghani met with the CRCF Medical Team members. Her Excellency praised the long term China-Afghanistan friendship and the sincere cooperation between Chinese Red Cross and Afghan Red Crescent. Her Excellency said, “Children are the future of the country and the Chinese friends are caring the future of Afghanistan. I would like to thank again for the  deep friendship of the Chinese people”. H.E. Minister of Public Health Dr. Ferozudin Feroz shook hands with Mr. Sun Shuopeng, Head of CRCF Medical Team and said, “China is giving the most successful treatment for the Afghan children. These lucky children are not only the children of Afghanistan, but also the children of China. I can’t find words to express my sincere gratitude for China's unselfish help!”
Mr. Sun and I told H.E. First Lady and H.E. Minister, “the people of China and Afghanistan have always been good neighbors, close brothers and always helped each other throughout history. We are ‘heart to heart’ brothers. In order to do so, above all we need a healthy heart. What we are doing comes from the bottom of our heart and we are sure that our good heart will win the heart of our Afghan friends. For sure, we will continue this project and provide more medical and health assistance to the Afghan people.”
I also quoted the words of Mr. Xi Jinping, President of China: "The Chinese people have always had the sense of justice and compassion. The Chinese people have always tied their destiny closely to that of the people around the world. The Chinese people have always paid close attention and provided unselfish assistance to people who still live in war, turmoil, hunger, and poverty. The Chinese people are always ready to do their utmost to contribute to the peace and development of humanity.”
The world is not peaceful and humanitarian crises happen very frequently. When faced with crisis and difficulties, especially the lack of medical treatment in Afghanistan, we feel that we can't sit back, just wait and do nothing. We should carry forward the spirit of humanity, fraternity and devotion, and send the love and hope to the innocent people, especially to innocent children who are in trouble. We should uphold the basic principles of neutrality, impartiality and independence, avoid politicization of humanitarian issues and adhere to the demilitarization of humanitarian aid. This is what I want to say as a Chinese diplomat.
Wish the Afghan children all the best for the future!
Wish China and Afghanistan are heart-connected forever!

Ambassador of China to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

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