Chinese Ambassador Zang Yue has assured Liberia that China’s presence in the Ebola fight in West Africa signifies his country’s full commitment to build and manage ETUs and not leave them with Liberians alone to manage.
Ambassador Zang made the statement at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) following the arrival of a 15-member medical team and huge consignments of anti-Ebola materials.
He indicated that the ETUs expected to be built by China near the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex will be fully managed and operated by Chinese in collaboration with local health workers.
Briefing journalists on the latest of four health packages China has provided, Ambassador Zang reiterated Chinese President Xi Jinping’s announcement on October 24 that China would provide nearly US$82 million assistance package to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea and relevant international organizations fighting the Ebola virus.
“The latest package is the fourth round of China’s assistance program for Ebola control in West Africa and comprises both cash and supplies. China will send more health experts and medical staff to help with Ebola control and treatment in West Africa and will also help build an Ebola Treatment Unit and equip it with about 100 beds,” he said,
The Chinese diplomat disclosed that the advance 15-member medical team that arrived in Liberia on October 25, comprises doctors, epidemiologists, designers, engineers and technicians, who he said will prepare for the construction of the ETU, exchange views with Liberian officials and experts and international partners.
The materials arriving on the 747 Boeing cargo plane include building materials and medical equipment, the Chinese Ambassador said adding, “When the ETU is ready, it will be operated and staffed by Chinese doctors and nurses assisted by local health workers.”
At the West African regional level, Ambassador Zang said “China will provide hospital beds, ambulances, motorcycles, PPEs and other urgently needed supplies to the three countries plagued by the epidemic.”
He further stated that US$6 million is provided in cash to the UN Ebola Response Multi-partner Trust Fund to support efforts by the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response.
He further disclosed plans by China to initiate the China-Africa Public Health Cooperation Plan that includes organizing 12 terms of training programs on public health epidemic prevention and control for Africa, carrying out joint research on tropical diseases and helping establish an information platform for public health and a monitoring network for epidemic prevention and control.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Sylvester Grisgby thanked China for the huge donation and continuous assistance to the Ebola fight.
Minister Grisgby said with the level of international cooperation Liberia and other affected countries are receiving, it is certain that Ebola will soon go away.
China is one country that was swift to render assistance to Liberia in the fight against Ebola when the disease broke out in March this year.
China provided US$1.7 million aid package to Liberia upon the outbreak, which helped to obtain PPEs and other equipment that were lacking in the health system in the country.
China has offered more than US$40 million in aid, dispatched nearly 200 medical staff to the affected areas, and set up a mobile laboratory in Sierra Leone, which has tested more than 500 Ebola samples with 100 per cent accuracy.
China under its One China Policy has identified with the African Continent in infrastructural, economic and social developments over the past years.
In Liberia, China has built the Jackson F. Doe Medical Center, University of Liberia Fendell campus, vocational institutions and is currently renovating the SKD Sports Complex.