The end of Ebola in Liberia could not have been possible without the contribution of its many partners and friends, including the People’s Republic of China, whose assistance was the construction of one of the largest, well equipped Ebola Treatment Units (ETUs) in the country. Known as the China ETU, it was operated by a medical team from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
Chinese Ambassador accredited to Liberia, ZHANG Yue, speaking at ceremony marking the official handover of the China ETU to the Government of Liberia, said “My salute firstly goes to the men and women of the medical team of the People’s Liberation Army of China. You guys got the mission accomplished with honor.”
He said the victory over Ebola is the joy and success of Liberia, as well as the success of the international partners.
Ambassador ZHANG told his compatriots, “During the past 6 months, you rendered medical care to hundreds of patients and saved six lives out of ten confirmed Ebola patients that were taken to the ETU. The construction of China ETU with speed and quality, which was described as a miracle, was a good showcase of China. We are very grateful for your services to the Liberian people.”
“Today we are here to hand over the China ETU as a whole to the Government of Liberia. This ETU has 20 rooms with 100 beds and is well equipped with more than 1500 kinds of medical instruments and materials,” he said
He noted that the whole package consists of more than 920,000 units with the total value of around US$7 million, which he described as a good asset for the recovery of the country’s public health system.
Ambassador ZHANG said China made due contribution in the fight against Ebola in West Africa just because her good African friends, brothers, partners are badly in need. “From its very beginning, China-Africa friendship has long been expressed by deeds instead of just by words.” He said the relationship is clearly highlighted by Chinese President Xi Jinping as one of sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith.
“My appreciation goes to the Liberian government and the Liberian co-workers in the China ETU. Their cooperation and support to us made everything operate smoothly. They are the actual heroes who helped in winning the war,” he said.
The Chinese diplomat further indicated that the turning over of the ETU did not only call for an end to Ebola; rather China is ready to assist Liberia through the recovery era.
Ambassador ZHANG said, “We are here not to only call it an end to Ebola, but to start a journey to the future. Rebuilding the health sector and the economy in the post-Ebola era is top priority on the agenda of the government. As a reliable partner and friend, China will continue to stand by Liberia in this process as usual.”
He further disclosed that in the field of public health, China will assign more medical experts to the Tappita hospital, provide more technical training, experience exchange and collaborative research to help Liberia restore and improve its public health and disease prevention system. These interventions will also help in the prevention of similar massive epidemic outbreak in the future.
He hailed all the national and international public health workers and all those who have participated in the anti-Ebola campaign. “Their devotion, contribution and achievements will always be remembered by the world.”
He said the PLA team also had some very good interactions and exchanges with colleagues from Cuba, Pakistan, Germany as well as UNMEER, WHO, WFP and many others in information sharing, technical support, “indicating that the spirit of international cooperation has been well displayed in this process.”
President Sirleaf lauded the Chinese for all they have done to bring relief to the Liberian people. She said China has always been a good friend to Liberia and the African continent. “During our darkest time, you were one of the first to respond to us. And for this and all others you continue to do for us, we will always remain grateful to you and all other partners that came to our aid.”