Chinese Ambassador Reaffirms Commitment to Rebuilding Liberia’s Health Sector

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Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yue has reassured that China will help rebuild Liberia’s post-Ebola health system as promised earlier.

Giving the assurance on February 20 at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex during programs marking the celebration of the Chinese New Year, Ambassador Zhang said clinical or hospital equipment needed in Liberia and training for medical staff are among the assistance that China will extend to the country.

He said when Liberia comes to zero cases of Ebola, the solid ETUs built by China will be used to conduct training for clinical staffs and in some instances staffs will travel to China for training.

Ambassador Zhang also used the occasion to acknowledge collective efforts by the diplomatic community to fight Ebola in Liberia and the two other West African countries hardest hit by the virus.

He commended UNMIL for helping to transport materials flown into the country by China from the Roberts International Airport to the ETU in Paynesville and said such collaboration aided the concerted efforts in fighting Ebola.

Also making specific reference to the United States, he admitted that there were shortcomings in some areas that the U.S. had to come in to help China.

He said when China brought in its cargoes last year, U.S. troops stationed near the RIA helped to unload the cargoes from the aircraft.

He also acknowledged that the U.S. was instrumental in using its helicopters to transport some materials outside of Monrovia where others could not reach; a collaboration the Ambassador said makes the world to be a big family.

The Chinese New Year celebration was characterized by various entertaining activities, including songs, dance, drama, among others.

The occasion featured several Ebola survivors treated in the Chinese ETU who narrated their experience during their time of illness.

One of them, Celestine Eugenia King first thanked God and then the Chinese medical team for their intervention in keeping her alive.

Celestine explained that despite efforts made to reduce cases of Ebola to the level it is, there are still challenges of stigma and discrimination.

She said the fight will only be realized to the fullest if survivors are made to feel a part of the Liberian society again without stigmatizing and discriminating against them.

Another survivor, Yassa Mulbah thanked the Chinese and confessed that besides Ebola, the medical team also helped to treat the diabetes she suffers from.

The program was also attended by a few Liberian government officials, including Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) Deputy Chief of Staff, Col. Eric Dennis and Deputy Health Minister for Preventive Services Tolbert Nyenswah, and others from UNMIL.

In a statement, Deputy Minister Nyenswah commended China for the major role played from the beginning of the virus to the declining point at which it is.

Deputy Minister Nyenswah admitted that there were more survivors from the Chinese ETU as far as their record is concerned, noting that there are still confirmed cases in the ETU and therefore people should avoid complacency.

He thanked the Chinese medical team for its role and then Liberians for cooperating with health authorities in keeping up with hygien practices to prevent infection.

Meanwhile, the head of the Chinese medical team, Shi Qing Long recalled that besides treating Ebola patients in ETUs, they had been in communities creating awareness and disinfecting public facilities.

A medical practitioner who asked not to be named praised the working relationship with the Chinese and nurses and said nurses are paid US$650.00 while hygienists earn US$550.00.

It may be recalled that when Ebola reached a peak in Liberia last year, Ambassador Zhang Yue said her government will help to rebuild Liberia’s broken health system.

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