ZJU-ISM Delegation Enhances Medical and Educational Collaborations During African Visit

Xu Jian, the Chairman of International School of Medicine, Zhejiang University(ZJU-ISM) and the Fourth Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine(ZJU4H), led a delegation on a fruitful visit to Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. The week-long journey, spanning July 22 to 29, aimed to foster stronger ties between these countries and ZJU-ISM through dialogues and partnerships with local universities, hospitals, government agencies, and organizations. The discussions centered around enhancing cultural exchanges between China and Africa, advancing medical education and healthcare collaborations, promoting technological innovation, and nurturing talent. The delegation included Zhou Qingli, Vice President of ZJU4H, and various department heads.

Educational Collaborations

The delegation visited key educational institutions in these African nations to strengthen academic ties:

University of Zambia: On July 24, the delegation paid a visit to the University of Zambia, where they received a warm welcome from Professor Boniface Namangala, Vice Chancellor of the University, and Professor Elliot B. Kafumukache, Dean of the Medical School. The discussions revolved around various facets of collaboration, including student exchanges, personnel interactions, research cooperation, and hospital development, establishing a solid foundation for future collaborative endeavors.

University of Lusaka: On the same day, the delegation explored the University of Lusaka, where they were graciously greeted by Professor Pinaio Chifwanakeni, Vice Chancellor of the University. Conversations encompassed joint graduate training, student exchanges, hospital construction, and scientific research. Subsequently, Xu Jian engaged in a friendly dialogue with medical and nursing students, followed by a tour of the under-construction hospital at the University of Lusaka.

Lusaka APEX Medical University: On July 24th, the delegation engaged in a meeting with Professor Njelesani, the Vice Chancellor of Lusaka APEX Medical University. During the meeting, they had an insightful exchange of ideas on various aspects, including the Chinese healthcare system, medical student training, hospital construction, and management. The exchange of ideas and insights during the meeting provided a valuable opportunity for both parties to learn from each other’s experiences and practices in the medical field.

University of Zimbabwe: The journey extended to Zimbabwe on July 26, where the delegation visited the University of Zimbabwe. During this visit, a memorandum of cooperation was signed, marking the beginning of substantive discussions regarding student exchanges, personnel interactions, research collaborations, and hospital construction. Additionally, the delegation explored various facilities, including teaching laboratories and the Quinary Hospital under construction.

Harare Institute of Technology: On July 27, the delegation continued its journey by visiting the Harare Institute of Technology. Discussions at this institution focused on graduate education, medical equipment research and development, student exchanges, and research cooperation.

Stellenbosch University(South Africa): Continuing the productive interactions, Xu Jian and his team visited Stellenbosch University in South Africa on July 28, where they signed a memorandum of cooperation. In-depth discussions centered around concrete cooperation in student exchanges, personnel interactions, postdoctoral training, and research partnerships. The delegation also had the opportunity to tour the university’s state-of-the-art laboratories and facilities.

Medical Collaborations

In addition to strengthening academic connections, the delegation also visited prominent medical institutions:

Maina Soko Military Hospital (Zambia): The visit commenced on July 22 with a warm welcome at the Maina Soko Military Hospital in Zambia. The delegation engaged in a cordial conversation with General Bernard Kapatamoyo, the President of the hospital. General Kapatamoyo shared insights into the hospital’s operations and expressed gratitude for the unwavering support provided by Chinese medical experts over the last 25 years. In response, Xu Jian provided an overview of Zhejiang University’s medicine and the International Medical Center, which includes ZJU-ISM, ZJU4H, and the International Institutes of Medicine, Zhejiang University (ZJU-IIM). He emphasized the U-Med’s keen interest in collaborating with the Maina Soko Military Hospital, facilitating substantive exchanges in areas such as telemedicine diagnosis and pathological assessment.

The Ministry of Health (Zambia): On the morning of July 25th, the delegation visited the Ministry of Health Zambia, where they held a meeting with Permanent Secretary Christopher Simoonga. During the meeting, both parties engaged in extensive discussions on cooperation in pharmaceutical research and development, telemedicine, hospital construction, and other areas. Xu Jian officially extended an invitation to Secretary Christopher Simoonga to attend the inaugural ceremony of the International School of Medicine. The meeting served as a platform for fostering closer collaboration and partnership between the parties, promoting advancements in the field of healthcare and medical services.

Groote Schuur Hospital (South Africa): On the afternoon of July 28th, the delegation visited Groote Schuur Hospital, affiliated with the University of Cape Town. They visited the museum showcasing the historic world’s first heart transplant surgery and the fascinating anesthesia operating room museum. The delegation also held discussions and exchanges with Prof. Justin Swanevelder, the Head of the Department of Anesthesia and Surgery. Throughout the meeting, both parties engaged in in-depth discussions regarding personnel exchange, joint graduate training, clinical education, and collaborative research initiatives.

Strengthening Bonds and Alumni Connections

On July 29, Xu Jian’s delegation met with alumni in South Africa, Chinese Consulate officials, and other stakeholders. During these discussions, Xu Jian shared the International Medical Center’s progress and this African visit’s outcomes. He emphasized Zhejiang University’s commitment to foster local exchanges and partnerships.

The African tour not only provided valuable understanding into the visited countries’ the development of medical talent, healthcare services, hospital construction, and management needs but also laid the foundation for further exploration of the systems of ZJU-ISM’s MBBS students’ countries.

This visit marked a significant stride for International Medical Center into Africa, strengthening exchanges between Zhejiang University’s medicine and Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. This collaboration enhances China-Africa exchanges and cooperation in health and medical education, fostering a blueprint for International Medical Center’s international development and injecting new energy and vitality.

Written by: Han Qiqi