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China ends Liberian Ebola mission

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China has closed its Ebola treatment unit, located at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Stadium in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.

The Chinese also turned over a few armor personnel carriers, as well as a 20 bed-room facility equipped with more than 1,500 different kinds of medical instruments valued at about US$7m, to the Government of Liberia, through President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

 At the closing ceremony yesterday, President Sirleaf officially  launched the renovation of the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex where the Chinese have been operating. Chinese authorities assured that a Chinese company was now ready to renovate the Stadium.

China- one of Liberia’s post-war development partners to airlift much needed supplies in the wake of the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, formally closed its ETU in Paynesville on Tuesday, following an official certification of Liberia by the World Health Organization as an Ebola-freed country on Monday.

Chinese Ambassador to Liberia Zhang Yue told President Sirleaf that “the whole package consists of more than 920,000 units, with the total value of around 7 million U.S. dollars,” which, he said, was a good asset for recovery of the nation’s public health system.

“Today, we are here not only to call it an end to Ebola, but a start to the journey to future,” Mr. Yue noted, further assuring that as a reliable partner, China would continue to stand closely with Liberia during its post-Ebola era rebuilding agenda.

He announced that in the field of public health, China will assign more medical experts to Tappita Hospital in Nimba County, provide more technical trainings, as well as ensure experience exchanges and collaborative research so as to help Liberia restore and improve its health and disease prevention system aimed at preventing similar “massive epidemic outbreaks.”

Mr. Yue recalled that the ETU saved six lives out of ten Ebola confirmed cases, and that Chinese medical team and experts trained nearly 6,000 local people, including professional health workers.

President Sirleaf said the closure of the Chinese ETU yesterday evident the departure of the difficult days, recalling that China was one of Liberia’s first partners to air lift supplies in bulk to aid the country in the fight against Ebola.

She said other partners joined with so much commitment, and “we witness” the result of the major international efforts. The Liberian Leader appreciated members of the Chinese Army who, she said, left their families to join Liberia and served so well.

She also appreciated local workers and engineers at the Chinese ETU, and urged health workers there to join the partnership not just to operate ETU, but also their own clinics, among others, given the level of self-preparation they had from the Chinese counterpart.

President Sirleaf also welcomed the Chinese responsible to do the renovation of the country’s biggest sports stadium – the SKD Stadium – where, she added, young people would once again play the spots they love best.

Speaking on behalf of the local staff at the Chinese ETU, Mrs. Loretta Lormie appealed to the international community to help rebuilt Liberia’s health system and provide international training opportunities for health workers, while at same time requesting the Liberian Government to maintain the group’s local staff at the ETU.

By Winston W. Parley

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