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Chinese medical experts get busy in Sierra Leone

14,Sep 2017
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The Chinese Military Medical Expert Team in Sierra Leone (CMMET-SL) has expressed an optimistic view about the arrival of a Chinese Military Hospital Ship named Ark Peace to Sierra Leone in a show of commitment to the friendly bilateral relationship between Sierra Leone and China.

Professor GUO Xuejun, Head of the Team said in an interview that, Ark Peace is equipped with modern medical facilities and the medical staff onboard can provide treatment for many kind of sickness. He noted that Ark Peace is the third largest hospital ship in the world that weighs about 14, 000 tons. There about 63 specialized medical doctors with over 100 other medical staff which will ensure at least 500 patients can be treated on board every day. He said before the arrival of Ark Peace,

people who wants to do surgical operations onboard needs to perform a pre-operation screening to get ready for the operations, and to check whether the requested operation is able to be performed onboard. During the berthing of Ark Peace, people who wish to receive free medical services on the hospital ship should go to Brima Attouga Mini Stadium for screening and triage before getting onboard. “We are expecting a busy week.” Professor GUO says, “CMMET-SL, together with China Medical Team and China CDC are going all out to do supporting preparations for the visit.”

The hospital ship will berth at Queen Elizabeth II Quay. Professor GUO said that the Ark Peace is also making a plan to send medical team by helicopter to other parts of Sierra Leone. They have contacted several medical institutions to find out a feasible plan. However, he says the weather in this rainy season is really unpredictable, which increases the difficulty of such missions.

Professor Guo also averred that the aim of CMMET-SL is to cooperate with the Joint Medical Unit of RSLAF to contribute to the improving the level of medical treatment and detection techniques for infectious diseases in Sierra Leone. Through the cooperation, an infectious disease department will be established in the Joint Medical Unit. Dr WANG Shuchao, a team member of CMMET-SL noted that they have already set up a system to monitor the infectious diseases through daily basis within the whole country. The system will be an early warning alert to possible infectious diseases.

Professor HUANG Lei, who workedin Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak, noted that they have mobile infectious disease detection vehicles that could use as part of the screening process. He observed that infectious diseases are more life threatening in Sierra Leone. During the visit, Ark Peace would also provide medical services for different infectious diseases. However, due to the short stay of the visit, post-visit follow up by local medical institutions is the same critical. During the preparation meetings, representatives from Ministry of Health and Sanitation and Joint Medical Unit of RSLAF have made recommendations for the post-visit services for the patients in need.

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