160 Chinese Health Workers in Liberia Set to Fight Ebola

by Himabindu Venkatakrishnan on  November 17, 2014 at 4:45 PM Tropical Disease News   - G J E 4
A $41 million Ebola treatment unit in Liberia will now be staffed with the contingent of 160 Chinese healthcare workers, who arrived in the country the hardest-hit by the deadly virus, the Chinese embassy said Sunday.
 160 Chinese Health Workers in Liberia Set to Fight Ebola
160 Chinese Health Workers in Liberia Set to Fight Ebola

Many of the doctors, epidemiologists and nurses who will work in the unit previously helped tackle the SARS epidemic in Asia, it said in a statement.

"They experienced SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). They are very knowledgeable in this area," ambassador Zhang Yue said.

Engineers hope to get the unit built and operational within 10 days.

Since the unit will be made of concrete, the embassy said it would leave a lasting legacy to the impoverished west African country, where at least 2,812 people have so far died of the deadly virus.

Zhang said the unit would be unique because most of the other treatment units are temporary structures.

"China is the only country which provides not only the construction of an Ebola treatment unit, but also the running, operation and the staffing of it."

"Further on we will provide additional material to Liberia worth around $5 million. So all together $46 million of our aid is exclusively to Liberia," Zhang added.

So far Beijing has promised Ebola-hit countries the equivalent of $122 million to help fight the epidemic.

China is Africa's largest trading partner, and its diplomatic footprint across the continent has expanded hugely in recent years as it seeks resources to power its economy.

Still it is a long way behind the European Union, whose leaders have boosted their Ebola aid to one billion euros ($1.26 billion).

The United States has earmarked more than $350 million in aid, while the World Bank and African Development Bank pledged $400 million and $225 million respectively.

Source: AFP

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