Speaking before the assembled 19th Chinese Medical Team, diplomats and a cross-section of Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials and other guests, Ambassador Wu Peng went on to say that the members of the Chinese Medical Team over the past year treated approximately 30,000 (thirty thousand) outpatients, doing different kinds of volunteer medical service; and operated on more than 300 (three hundred) important surgeries successfully.
Ambassador Wu Peng recalled that during the Ebola epidemic, China assisted Sierra Leone to build a P3 Laboratory at the Jui Hospital; as well as bringing in six Detection Teams to help to conduct Ebola virus detection works. He added that currently, the Chinese CDC Detection Team led by Dr. Xiao Ning together with their Sierra Leonean colleagues have not only done well on Ebola virus detection, but they have also established research on Malaria, Zika, Lhasa virus etc. He thanked the about-to-depart Chinese medical team for a job well done.
He mentioned however that the success of the Chinese medical teams could not have been without the support and cooperation of the Government and People of Sierra Leone. He extended his thanks and appreciation to the ministries of Health and Sanitation, Foreign Affairs and Defense and hoped that China-Sierra Leone public health cooperation will further consolidate the friendship between the two countries to foster greater common development.
Leader of the 19th Chinese Medical Team, Dr. Liang Lihui when he took the rostrum thanked the government and people of Sierra Leone for the warm and friendly reception they received. He heaped accolades on Sierra Leoneans whom he described as very friendly and unassuming people. He recalled that since the arrival of his team to Sierra Leone, they have managed not only to treat thousands of people for various illnesses and performed surgeries on malignant cases, but that the team transferred theoretical and practical knowledge and skill to their Sierra Leonean counterparts, which he said will go a long way to keep medical personnel sharp and capable to detecting disease in its early stage for early treatment.
In his address before the Chinese Ambassador, the 19th Chinese Medical Team and guests, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Alie Kabba stated that over the years, China has been helping Sierra Leone in capacity building by providing scholarships and training personnel to improve the health system. “The government of President Julius Maada Bio is committed to deepening the ties between Sierra Leone and China for more cooperation in areas that promote the welfare of our people,” Dr. Kabba told his audience.
Chief Medical Officer (CMO) in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Brima Kargbo in his statement, commended the Chinese medical teams for their extraordinary exploits and hoped that Sierra Leoneans who worked with them inculcated the examples set by the Chinese medical teams. He said a nation with a broken health care system cannot prosper, adding that Sierra Leone is honored to have the Chinese at every point of need. He thanked the departing team and welcomed the next, hoping that the ties between the two countries goes from strength to strength.
Other speakers at the auspicious occasion included a the Chief of Defense Staff, Brigadier Bureh Sesay who thanked the Chinese Embassy for inviting the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) to participate and collaborate with the People’s Liberation Army of China in establishing better health care services especially during an epidemic.
“On 5th July2018, we will witness the official commissioning and signing of ‘Taking Over’ Certificate of the newly-constructed Infectious Diseases Prevention and Control Center. This million dollars’ project was supported and built by the Chinese Government to improve our health sector and by extension addressing the growing challenges on emerging infectious diseases. This development is definitely going to add to the facelift of 34 Military Hospital and will further improve health service delivery to our troops, their dependants and the civilian population as a whole,” Brig. Sesay informed his audience.
He added: “As I speak, arrangements are underway for me and one of my senior officers to visit China on the invitation of the Chinese Government through the Chinese Ambassador Wu Peng to attend the first China-Africa Defense and Security Forum from the 26th June to the 10th July. The RSLAF is grateful and will continue to be grateful to China.”
In collaboration with the RSLAF, the 2nd team of ten medical experts led by Dr. Guo Xuejun from the Chinese military conducted a number of detection and treatment work on African Infectious Diseases; studied the development of medical problems and trained a number of local medical workers at 34 Military Hospital.
The 19th Chinese Medical Team led by Dr. Liang Lihui arrived in June last year and leaves shortly. The 20th Chinese Medical Team led by Dr. Li Jindong has already arrived and would “follow in the footsteps of their predecessors in serving the people of this country,” Ambassador Wu Feng noted, adding that they commence work as soon as their predecessors depart. The Chinese medical teams comprise of civilian and military medical doctors, nurses and other medical professionals.
Distribution of certificates and gifts to all the members of the 19th Chinese Medical Team was done by officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, followed by a delicious buffet dinner.