By ANTHONY MULOWA and CHILA NAMAIKO –
THE People’s Republic of China has sent three teams of disease control experts to Ebola-hit West African countries to help fight the deadly virus.
The three countries are Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. According to a statement released yesterday by the Chinese Embassy inLusaka, each medical team is composed of one epidemiologist and two specialists in disinfection and protection from the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) and other institutions. Member of the medical team, Sun Hui said the Chinese experts would help train local medical workers and assist Chinese embassies in these countries to distribute medical supplies.
Apart from that, three Chinese medical teams have already been working in the three African nations.
“The new experts will also train their staff and work with them to help local doctors,” Dr Sun said.
Director of the medical team in Sierra Leone Wang Yaoping said the team would not withdraw in its effort to combat the deadly virus.
“We won’t withdraw under any circumstances and will more actively participate in combating Ebola here,” he said.
Meanwhile, China on Sunday dispatched emergency humanitarian aid supplies worth 30 million RMB yuan (US$4.9 million) to the Ebola-affected West African nations.
The materials mainly include personal medical protective gears, gloves and glasses, protective clothes, disinfectants, thermo-detectors and medicines.
The Chinese-chartered plane carrying emergency humanitarian supplies for Sierra Leone arrived in the country’s capital, Freetown, on Monday.
This is the second batch of Ebola relief provided by China to West Africa.
Meanwhile, health personnel in Mazabuka have been stationed at all airstrips in the district to screen people against the Ebola virus following the outbreak of the disease in West Africa.
Mazabuka has three airstrips owned by some commercial farmers who regularly travel to and from the Ebola-affected countries, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria for business.
The Ebola virus is spread by close contact with an infected person through bodily fluids such as sweat, blood and tissue.
District Commissioner (DC) Eugene Munyama said more than 360 health personnel in Mazabuka had since been equipped with protective equipment in readiness for handling suspected Ebola patients in case of an outbreak.
In an interview yesterday, Mr Munyama said Zambia Sugar Plc had also been placed as a hot spot area for the Ebola virus because of some foreigners who frequently visited the company from Ebola-hit countries.
“In Mazabuka, through our health rapid response team, we have put in place stringent measures and we are on higher alert for the Ebola pandemic,” Mr Munyama said.
“We labeled all airstrips as hot spot areas for Ebola because some farmers travel regularly to Ebola-affected countries while some foreigners come to visit companies in Mazabuka, like Zambia Sugar Plc,” he said.
He said the level of preparedness was sufficient in an event of an Ebola epidemic and that protective clothing had been procured while public awareness meetings were underway.
Mr Munyama said that the district had reserved adequate chemicals such as disinfectants and other emergence drugs which could be used in handling suspected Ebola victims.
“We have in stock spray pumps and intravenous fluids to use in case of an Ebola outbreak. We are also designating a treatment centre for suspected Ebola victims,” he said.
Mr Munyama, however, urged people who travelled on a regular basis for prayers to a named pastor in Nigeria to be wary of the Ebola disease.