NOVEMBER 14, 2014 By Alusine Sesay
The Chinese government, through its embassy in Sierra Leone, yesterday launched a training programme for 4,000 Sierra Leoneans in infection control measures.
Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, His Excellency Zhao Yanbo, speaking at the Sierra Leone Library Board, disclosed that a team of eleven Chinese public health experts were dispatched to strengthen public health system in Sierra Leone through training, adding that they would in four months train 4,000 health workers, contact tracers and personnel involved in the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease.
Ambassador Zhao said the training programme forms a significant component of the Chinese Government assistance to save the people of Sierra Leone from the epidemic, which shows no sign of abating, six months after the first case was confirmed in the eastern border with Guinea.
“The Chinese has in diverse ways assisted Sierra Leone in fighting the Ebola Virus Disease. We do not only provide medical and financial assistant to Sierra Leone but also help the country to trace the root causes of infection. We have eleven experts as at now, but we will send more to train 4,000 people, including health workers and all those involved in the fight against Ebola,” said the Chinese diplomat.
He emphasised the need to prevent new transmission, and encouraged the trainees to take the training seriously and transmit knowledge gained to their various communities.
Mayor of Freetown, His Worship Francis Bode Gibson, noted that the country is faced with a sad situation because “As a nation, we cannot relate to one another as we used to be. Our children are seated at home with schools and university closed. The country’s development is stagnated and our economy keeps dwindling.”
Mayor Gibson touched on the need for people to change their behaviour, noting that even if the country got the best medical support from partners, things would continue to worsen if people stuck to their odd behaviour.
He admonished health workers to be diligent and sincere in proving service to the nation, and thanked the Chinese government for their assistance to the country.
Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation II, Madina Rahman, noted that since the outbreak of Ebola China has been working with the government to contain its spread.
Ms. Rahman admitted that infection control was very poor in Sierra Leone and encouraged trainees to take advantage of the knowledge gained and empower themselves for benefit of the country.
She lauded the Chinese government for what she referred to as the tremendous assistance they have rendered to Sierra Leone in time of need.