SEPTEMBER 3, 2014 By John Baimba Sesay
The Department of International Cooperation of the National Health and Family Planning Commission in the People’s Republic of China has sent to Sierra Leone eight personnel of the Chinese African Aid Expert Team to support Ebola virus disease control and laboratory investigation.
The team, expected to have commenced work yesterday 2nd September, will be in the country for two weeks. This is in continuation of the support the Chinese government is giving to Sierra Leone in fighting the dreaded Ebola virus.
Few weeks back in August, support in the form of medical equipment worth 10 million Yuan was airlifted to Sierra Leone by the Chinese government to help contain the outbreak. The supplies included medical protective clothes, disinfectants, thermo-detectors and medicines. During the month of August, also, China sent an expert team of three doctors to Sierra Leone to help contain the spread of the Ebola virus.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has, during a meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in August, pledged his country’s strong readiness to help in ensuring international control of the Ebola epidemic.
Ebola has claimed over 1,000 lives in West Africa. Sierra Leone continues to put in place measures to tackle the virus, with support from their external donor partners like the World Health Organization and MSF.
Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to China, Victor Bockarie Foh, sees this latest development as “a continued demonstration by the People’s Republic of China of their readiness to stand by Sierra Leone in times of greatest need”.
Sierra Leone, he said, appreciates all the support the Chinese government has been rendering to the country’s health sector in particular, and also its tremendous interventions in various other sectors including infrastructural development, education and agriculture.
At the sub-regional level, ambassadors of the Mano River Union (MRU) countries in China have called for collaborative efforts in the fight against the deadly Ebola disease.