President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf wants Liberia and China to reflect beyond bilateral accomplishment and examine further potential cooperation to restoring Liberia’s overall health care system and economic recovery as Ebola gradually declines here.
At the dedication of a Chinese-built 100 beds capacity Ebola Treatment Unit around the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Stadium in Paynesville, outside Monrovia, President Sirleaf proposed talks about partnership in education, health, agriculture and the private sector.
At the dedicatory exercise on Tuesday, November 25, 2014, the Liberian leader said the Chinese ETU looks like “first class treatment [center] for our people”, saying the facility was commendable and exemplary which Liberia will always be grateful for.
Ahead of a meeting scheduled for Tuesday afternoon with Madam Cui Li, the Chinese Vice Minister for Health and Family Planning Commission and head of delegation here, President Sirleaf said, “We hope that in those talks, we will be able to reflect not on all the things we’ve accomplished, but at the potential of what additional cooperation and partnership [we can] examine together.”
She recalled that when Liberia made calls to its partners during challenging period when Ebola broke here, China was one of the first partners to respond to the crisis by sending aircraft that brought some of the first equipment and materials that enabled many others to respond.
“None of this could have been done except with the endorsement and the support of the Chinese Government; of the Prime Minister of the President of China… I want you to convey to the President and the Prime Minister our thanks and appreciation on behalf of the Liberian people,” President Sirleaf said.
“As I look at the quality of the construction and the quality service that will be rendered- we haven’t seen it as yet, but as I look around, this looks like first class treatment [center] for our people, and this is commendable and exemplary which we’ll always be grateful for,” she said.
Speaking earlier, Madam Li said, “the Center mirrors the long-lasting friendship between China and Africa”, which according to her have shared “weal and woe” over the past more than 50 years.” She said the Chinese government has brought in more than 500 construction workers, medical equipment and construction materials to Liberia in six chartered flights.
“The Center is designed to meet high standards in the prevention and control of infectious diseases, and has 100 beds. With three batches of 500 medical staff, the Center will be run for six months to isolate suspected Ebola patients and treat confirmed patients including the UN staff who get Ebola,” the Chinese envoy said.
She additionally said more than 600 medical staff and public health experts have been sent to the affected countries in Western Africa, and the number is estimated to grow to 1,000 in the coming months, to train 10,000 medical care workers and anti-epidemic personnel.
For his part, Mr. Ren Guoquan, Deputy Head of Chinese Delegation said together with Liberian people, “We have the determination, confidence and ability to tide over the difficulties and defeat the epidemic.”
He said the Chinese medical expert team is expected to carry forward the international humanitarian spirit of “heal the wound and rescue the dying,” and the Chinese army’s spirit of dedication, braveness and tenaciousness, winning the Ebola battle with “exquisite technology and high quality service.”
“…It is certain for us, standing with Liberian people, to win this war without smoke of gunpowder and finally defeat the Ebola epidemic,” he concluded.