MONROVIA — A cluster of 19 plate houses with sky-blue roofs sit quietly next to the SKD stadium in Monrovia, capital of Liberia, one of the hardest-hit countries in the ongoing major Ebola outbreak.
The crescent moon-shaped facility is a new Ebola treatment center. It was funded by the Chinese government as part of an emergent aid package aimed at helping affected West African countries combat the lethal virus, which has claimed thousands of lives.
It serves as the latest embodiment of the time-honored China-Liberia friendship, which has been further cemented in their joint fight against Ebola.
The 5,800-square-meter, 100-bed medical center was designed and constructed by Chinese technicians and workers, and the whole process took only one month. The incredible pace marveled many Liberians.
The treatment center, officially put into operation on Nov 25, is equipped with wards, a clinical department, a training center, storehouses and a rest area for staff members. A majority of the materials and equipment needed here were shipped from China.
The high-standard hospital has an electronic information system based on the World Health Organization criteria, including electronic monitoring, talkback microphones and the Electronic Patient Record system, said You Jianping, head nurse in the 163-member medical team formed by the People’s Liberation Army of China.
With strict protective measures and advanced treatment equipment, the center is the best among all the existing Ebola treatment centers in Liberia, You said.
At the launching ceremony, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf lauded China’s extraordinary support for his country’s anti-Ebola efforts.
“We reached out to our partners and one of the first countries to respond was China, because China sent an aircraft that brought in some of the first batch of equipment, materials and medicine,” Sirleaf said.
He said that the center is a modern, standardized epidemic hospital and stands as a successful model of cooperation and a witness to the Liberia-China friendship.
Liberian Assistant Health and Social Welfare Minister Tolbert Nyenswah said that Liberia has lost many medical workers since the Ebola epidemic broke out, which has affected the country’s prevention and control operation against the deadly disease.
China’s aid will apparently strengthen the field medical work teams and help them regain confidence, the official said.
Liberian newspapers lauded the profound friendship between the Liberian and Chinese people, saying the Ebola treatment center, built with the aid of $41 million from China, will offer top quality services for those affected by the Ebola virus.
At the hand-over ceremony, Cui Li, head of the Chinese delegation and vice-minister of China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission, said China cherishes the relationship with Liberia.
She added that three batches of 500 medical professionals from China will work in the center for six months to observe suspected Ebola patients and treat confirmed cases, as well as to provide training for health care workers in Liberia.