The World Health Organization (WHO) has welcomed the commitment of China to dispatch a mobile laboratory team to Sierra Leone to enhance the laboratory testing capacity for Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the country.
A statement issued by the WHO said the contribution comes in response to its appeal for further assistance to Ebola response efforts in Africa and requests by the government of Sierra Leone.
It said in addition to laboratory experts, the 59-person team from the Chinese Centre for Disease Control would include epidemiologists, clinicians and nurses.
It said they would support Ebola response efforts at the China-Sierra Leone Friendship Hospital, which was built in 2012 with assistance from the Chinese Government.
“The most urgent immediate need in the Ebola response is for more medical staff,” says Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization. “The newly announced team will join 115 Chinese medical staff on the ground in Sierra Leone virtually since the beginning. This is a huge boost, morally and operationally.”
The WHO Ebola response road map, released on August 28, highlights the need for a massively scaled response to support affected countries.
The statement said the commitment from the Chinese Government exemplifies the kind of international effort required to intensify response activities and strengthen national capacities. GNA