At least 353 health workers have been trained in Monrovia by a team of Chinese medical doctors, including epidemiologists and virologists working in Liberia. The number would increase the number to 500 in series of workshops with various stakeholders in Liberia’s healthcare sector.
The training team, headed by Dr. Xue Zhou, plans to train 500 health workers and is made up of experts from China’s Public Health Department who trained healthcare workers at JFK hospital on the prevention and control of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
According to Dr. Xue, the workshop was aimed at training health workers and community residents in the prevention and control of highly infectious diseases, such as SARs, bird flu and Ebola.
Additionally, she said the training would build the preventive capability of the country’s health systems against future outbreak of highly infectious diseases.
Dr. Xue made the statement at the JFK Medical Center in Monrovia recently during the opening of the healthcare training workshops.
The medical team leader said the training was extremely necessary due to vast experiences that China has in infectious disease prevention and control.
“The risk is exponentially higher,” she pointed out. “So far, China has been very successful in preventing and controlling highly infectious diseases like SARS and bird flu.”
“Our training aims to share that experience on how China prevents and controls infectious diseases. The methodologies and principles can be replicated in Liberia,” she emphasized.
She noted that China’s population of over a billion people compels it to have a first-rate surveillance and control mechanism for infectious diseases.
“With a population of over 1.3 billion people, an infectious disease can have a cataclysmic impact on the population if there aren’t effective prevention and control mechanisms,” Dr. Xue pointed out.
She said the efforts of the training team complement those of the Chinese ETU. “A country must have a holistic approach. That is the criteria for success,” she added.
After receiving information that students in Liberia would be back to class soon, Dr. Xue emphasized the need for them to be aware of the control and prevention of Ebola, saying, “It is crucial for schools to prevent the Ebola Virus Disease spreading from human to human.”
She disclosed that the group’s next training will focus on school teachers. “We hope that teachers will spread the knowledge to students and further to the families, friends and society,” she said.
One of the health workers, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, thanked the Chinese for the training and promised to apply the knowledge in their various areas of operations.
The Chinese government constructed and currently manages the Samuel Kanyon Doe Complex ETU by experts from the Chinese Military and Public Health Department.