August 27, 2018
The Infectious Disease Prevention Centre at 34 Military Barracks, built with support from the Chinese government, has commenced full service operation to the public since August 22.
In July this year, the facility was jointly commissioned by President Julius Maada Bio and Chinese Ambassador WU Peng to deal with emergency disease outbreak in an auspicious occasion held at the Wilberforce military barracks, attended by local and foreign dignitaries.
Dr. XU Zhe, Team Leader of Chinese People Liberation Army (PLA) medical team, explained that the facility was equipped with ultra-modern medical equipment to prevent and fight infectious diseases, adding that the centre was one of the best in terms of emergency disease outbreak like Ebola and Lassa Fever.
Dr. XU said the facility also do diagnoses for HIV&AIDS, malaria, typhoid, lung infection, TB and Hepatitis A,B &C, noting that malaria and TB test are free and that they also provide some drugs to patients on free-of-charge basis.
He pointed out that money generated from the services they provide go into the running of the facility, which he said is 100 percent owned by Sierra Leone as they are just there to manage it on behalf of the country and to make sure that it is in good condition.
He said they have generators to run the centre in the event of power outage and that they also have a water treatment centre that treats all the waters from the facility to decontaminate the surrounding areas.
“We are here to help Sierra Leoneans because China and Sierra Leone are very good friends,” Dr. XU said.
The management of the hospital, Dr. XU explained, is divided into sections of out-patients and in-patients with 30 beds available to admit patients who come to the hospital for treatment.
With regards to staff capacity, he revealed that there are four doctors and 20 nurses comprising Chinese and Sierra Leonean military medical staff who jointly work at the hospital daily and that they have the capacity to treat 60-100 patients per day.
He noted that each ward is fitted with a separate toilet and shower facility to create comfort for patients that are admitted to a particular ward.
Dr. XU expressed optimism that the establishment of such facility would ensure that diseases like cholera are effectively dealt with by the hospital staff.
He said they also have a teleconference centre within the hospital through which doctors consult with Chinese medical expert during complex cases.
Ramking J Smith, who was at the bed side of his wife who was admitted at the hospital, said the treatment they were receiving was very good and that his wife was the first patient to be admitted in the hospital.
“The doctors and the nurses are doing well as compared to other hospitals in the country; even in terms of private hospitals the services here are very good,” Smith confidently said, noting he hopes his wife would recover soon.