A charity fundraising dinner in Beijing last month raised 7.09 million yuan ($1.1 million) to help Chinese medical teams that battled the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
Up to 14 pieces of calligraphy and art works were auctioned by the South South International Charity Fund and Chengmei Charity Foundation, which was established in 2010 in Hainan province.
The event attracted more than 200 guests, including international dignitaries and business leaders.
“The fund supports the Chinese medical teams fighting Ebola,” Cai Esheng, chairman of South South International Charity Fund, and former vice-chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, said.
“This is part of the healthcare cooperation program between China and Africa. Our goal is to bring hope and confidence to Africa ... and support the United Nations to achieve sustainable development goals.”
Last year’s Ebola epidemic in West Africa spread across Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, claiming more than 11,000 lives. In response, the Chinese government sent medical teams to the affected areas as well as providing $750 million in aid.
Healthcare professional Kong Qingyu, who was part of a Beijing medical team in West Africa, worked on the frontline. Beijing sent 43 teams to 11 African countries and regions.
“We lost six colleagues in fighting Ebola,” Kong, deputy director at Anzhen Hospital in Beijing, said. “The biggest challenge was to persuade Africans to understand that patients had to be isolated.
“But the medical teams stuck to their mission and reflected China’s image as a country that takes responsibility during major international incidents.”
In addition to the money raised at the auction, Sunshine Insurance Group donated 10 million yuan in insurance policies to Chinese medical personnel on the frontline in Africa.