You are here:   Home/ Development News/ Health

China army medics join Ebola battle

China Daily, November 15, 2014 Adjust font size:

The team is expected to stay in Monrovia for two months, and a total of 480 medical personnel will be sent to the hospital in three groups.

However, there will be only 163 Chinese personnel there at any one time, and this will not be enough to tend the 100 beds.

Wu Hao, deputy director of the hospital to be built in Liberia, said, "One of the challenges is to hire and train about 100 local staff members."

Most of the team members come from the PLA Third Military Medical University in Chongqing. The remainder are from the Shenyang Military Area Command.

More than two-thirds of the members took part in the fight against severe acute respiratory syndrome in 2003, the 2008 Sichuan earthquake rescue, and peacekeeping operations in Africa.

The experience and lessons gained from dealing with SARS will help the team fight Ebola, Wang said. He added, "We will also use some Chinese traditional medicine methods to treat patients."

The hospital will meet the construction requirements for hospitals that treat infectious diseases. Buffer zones will separate areas that are clean, semi-polluted and polluted.

The team gathered in Chongqing on Oct 4 to prepare for the mission. Members received training in procedures for treating infectious diseases and information about Ebola, and took part in simulations, English lessons and physical conditioning.

To help the Chinese personnel become familiar with the local English accent, the hospital invited a n student who is attending Southwest University to practice with them.

The most tiring and important exercise involved putting on and removing protective suits using a strict protocol. The suits have 11 parts.

Song Caiping, director of the hospital's nursing department, said: "It takes about 40 minutes to put on and take off the suit each time, and we always sweat a lot. I can't imagine what that will be like in Africa's hot weather."

Although Song is relaxed about the dangerous task she faces, her 11-year-old son has been worried since he learned she would be fighting the virus in West Africa.

"He is very nervous and can't study or sleep well," Song said, with tears in her eyes. "Half the team members are women, and most have children. We have to tell them white lies. We say we are going on safari in Africa."

     1   2  

Bookmark and Share

Related News & Photos