An Ebola treatment unit run by China in Liberia has been decommissioned, evidencing an end to the deadly disease in a country where some 4,700 people lost their lives.
Erected in November 2014 following an announcement by President Xi Jinping that China would establish an Ebola treatment unit in Liberia, the Chinese Ebola treatment unit admitted 110 patients, with 10 confirmed Ebola cases and six survivors.
More than 350 paramedics of the People Liberation Army staffed the 100-bed facility, equipped with 1,500 equipment at the cost of $7 million.
Liberia’s last Ebola patient to survive came from the Chinese Ebola treatment unit.
Speaking at ceremony marking the closure of the facility and the lowering of the flag of the medical unit of the Chinese army, Ambassador Zhang Yue praised the level of cooperation among of international players, including the African Union, the United States and scores of international non-governmental organization.
Mr. Zhang praised the Government of Liberia for coordinating the response in an orderly and effective manner.
“My appreciation goes to the Government of Liberia and the Liberian co-workers in China ETU. Their cooperation and support to us made to us made everything done smoothly.
“Our PLA (People Liberation Army) medical team has had very good interactions and exchanges with colleagues from Cuba, Pakistan, Germany, as well as UNMEER, WHO, WFP< UNICEF, MSF and many others in information sharing and technical support. The Spirit of international cooperation has been well displayed in this process,” he said.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said the closure of the Chinese Ebola treatment unit was proof to the departure one of the darkest eras in the history of Liberia.
“Today we witness the formal closure of a treatment center, evidencing further departure from those very difficult days of August through October,” President Sirleaf noted.
She quickly recalled that China was one of the first countries to come to the aid of Liberia by airlifting medical supplies to Liberia on the orders of President Xi.
“China, I want you to know that in those days you really responded to a very critical need,” she added, applauding the host of other partners who helped in the Ebola response.
A Liberian healthcare worker, Loretta Lormie, who spoke on behalf of 80 Liberian staff at that treatment unit, thanked the Chinese government for building their capacity and said they were capable of running a treatment unit in the future.