Poor Sierra Leoneans are expressing delight and appreciation for receiving free health care from the Chinese Medical Team in Sierra Leone.
The Chinese team leader gave a brief historical background in to the medical support from China and noted that since 1973 China continues to provide medical volunteers to cater for the needs of Sierra Leonean patients which has helped to promote the bilateral relations between the two nations.
Sierra Leone has a challenging health care sector, which was severally hit by the Ebola outbreak in early 2014, but China has been very influential in supporting Sierra Leone which eventually led to the establishment of the China-Sierra Leone Friendship Hospital at Jui, near Freetown.
In line with this, the Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brima Kargbo said that they are happy to receive the team and that President Julius Maada Bio has placed key focus on the health care sector to improve the lives of Sierra Leoneans under the sustainable development goal. (Photo below: Health Minister Dr. Alpha Wurie by Fatima and the Chinese contingent).
The Minister of Health & Sanitation, Dr. Alpha Wurie praised the initiative of mitigating infant mortality and maternal child health care and noted that it is a bold step taken by the Chinese in addressing the issue and pointed out that the contribution of China in Sierra Leone is very much visible in the area of health as well as in the infrastructure.
He said the prevalence rate of infant and maternal death is unaccepted and that the ministry needs more qualified health care workers to deal with the situation because currently the ratio of health care work is 1 health care worker per 10 patients. He said the 12 days free medical service is very good but the time is very short and as a government they would need more support from the Chinese government to train more health care workers.
Speaking at the event, the First Lady of Sierra Leone Fatima Bio said that health care issue for both women and children is very close to her heart, because it is only a healthy nation that can transform into a prosperous nation. She noted for the government to fulfil its in plans in line with education, they would need to do it together with improving the health sector. She said most of the maternity deaths are related to the huge number of teenage mothers in the country.
The Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, WU Peng welcomed the medical team and noted that the initiative is based on people to people exchange between China and Sierra Leone which would in turn enhance the bilateral relationship between the two countries.
Ambassador WU said the bilateral relations between China and Sierra Leone has entered a new level and that he is committed to ensuring that they help in all areas that the government priorities.