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Having been an intern at one of the top hospitals in North China's port city of Tianjin for nearly a year, Mahamat Hamid Mahamat, a PhD candidate in neurosurgery, said he is getting closer to his dream every day.
Mahamat, 33, resolved to become a doctor in his home country, the Republic of Chad in central Africa, after completing studies at Tianjin's Nankai University.
The African student has aspired to learn medicine in China since childhood. He was long impressed by the friendliness and capabilities of the Chinese medical teams sent to his country decades ago.
Since 1978, 17 medical teams from China have been dispatched to the African country for medical cooperation and assistance.
Mahamat said these medical teams are deeply respected in Chad as they often make long treks to remote villages to visit patients.
From 2000 to 2020, China provided around 120,000 government scholarships to assist outstanding African students in furthering their studies in China. Mahamat is one of those who benefited from the program.
First enrolled at Jiamusi University in Northeast China's Heilongjiang province in 2011, Mahamat traveled across the country to pursue higher degrees. He was later admitted to Lanzhou University in Northwest China.
Now fluent in Chinese, Mahamat keeps a busy schedule every day and often works overtime at Tianjin Huanhu Hospital to get familiar with his patients as soon as possible.
"If a patient suddenly catches a high fever, I would first ask for his or her overall symptoms before drawing any conclusion, as there might be a possibility of infection," said Mahamat.
Talking about his friends who share the same education experience sponsored by China, Mahamat said those who chose majors in fields such as civil engineering and petrochemicals have mostly returned to their home countries and made their own contributions.
Albeit a few years before his graduation, Mahamat routinely shares medical knowledge on social media with people at home. "No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen my devotion to my country and people," he said.
Mahamat added that he has always been inspired by the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation, which he thinks includes sincere friendship, equal treatment, mutual benefit and development, justice, openness and tolerance.