Language skills give S. Sudanese doctors a sharp edge
After enduring three months' intensive training in medical Chinese language at Juba Teaching Hospital, Lucia Thomas Loro, a South Sudanese doctor, is confident about interpreting some of the medical terms written in Chinese to patients.
Loro, director of nursing and midwifery in Juba Teaching Hospital, who has 17 years' working experience, said she will no longer struggle to read Chinese characters inscribed for medication package inserts. "Chinese will benefit me because we have a Chinese medical team in the hospital, and this language will even help us to interpret medical terms to our patients if they have any questions."
Loro, among the more than 40 local medics who completed the Chinese-language course last week, also said she appreciated learning Chinese culture during the training conducted by the eighth batch of Chinese doctors from Anhui province.
"I have learnt to appreciate the Chinese people for their culture and humility," said Loro, who suggested that more training courses by Chinese instructors be held to help her and other colleagues become fluent in the language.
"Chinese people love their country very much, which we South Sudanese need to learn from and also love our country."
Atim Sheril, another South Sudanese doctor, said learning medical Chinese is going to benefit his working relationship with his Chinese counterparts with whom he has been previously communicating through translation into English.
"We took very serious lectures in Chinese culture, and it was very nice with all the history of China, and we were informed of some important places in China we can visit if we go there," Sheril said.
Evaline Tokwaje Sebit, a health worker at Juba Teaching Hospital who has worked for more than three years, said she has not only learned basic Chinese characters but also a lot about Chinese culture. "The first thing is that it is going to help us a lot in interpreting medical terms which are written mostly in Chinese, so by learning this language we will be able to translate instructions of the Chinese doctors for our people," Sebit said. "We want to encourage them to give us more lessons in Chinese because we want to know more so we can help in so many things in Juba Teaching Hospital."
Janet Michael, director general for training and professional development at South Sudan's main referral hospital, congratulated the graduates, saying their language skills will help strengthen the current partnership they have with China.
"We are having equipment, medicines with instructions written in Chinese so you will be able to understand and also operate those machines," Michael said. "Learning a language actually gives you confidence wherever you go because if we have some exchange visit with China you already have some basics."