PLA medical team treats over 70 people in Sierra Leone

Public Diplomacy
PLA Medical Aid Team to Sierra Leone has treated over 70 people affected by deadly mudslide and flooding.

XinhuaUpdated: August 21, 2017

The Medical Aid Team of Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) to Sierra Leone has treated more than 70 people affected by the deadly mudslide and flooding that struck the West African nation's capital Freetown on Aug. 14.

People queue to get food and drinking water at the Saio Elementary Community School after the mudslides in Freetown, capital of Sierra Leone, on Aug. 19, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

The team has participated in disaster relief through the coordination of the joint medical unit set up by Sierra Leone's armed forces, team leader Guo Xuejun said Sunday.

Guo said Sierra Leone is a country with high incidence of infectious diseases, and cases of malaria and intestinal diseases are most outstanding.

He said the crowded situation at settlement for disaster-affected residents and the hot and humid environment could increase the possibility of epidemic outbreak which usually comes with large scale disaster.

In order to help forestall such a situation, the team sterilized the peripheral of the settlement and sprayed insecticide to prevent the breeding of vector species. The medical experts also provided medical services to the victims by instructing them how to prevent infectious diseases.

The group also brought more than 100 boxes of drugs, including antibiotics and anti-malaria, together with some 30 boxes food, drinking water and mosquito repellent to the settlement on Thursday and Friday, in addition to a donation of 1,400 U.S. dollars, which was delivered to Sierra Leone government through the Chinese embassy.

According to Guo, the military medical team has analyzed the possibility of epidemic outbreak and helped advise on the methods of prevention to the joint medical unit of Sierra Leone's armed forces.

Sarah, who is with the Office of National Security, noted that she appreciated the significant help and urgent aid provided by the Chinese military medical team at the site.

According to Guo, the team had arrived in Freetown in June. Consisting of 14 members, they are tasked with helping Sierra Leone's armed forces building a modern center for prevention of infectious diseases in the post-Ebola era.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Friday said that more than 400 people had lost their lives in the mudslide and flooding that had occurred on Aug. 14 and that several hundred people were still missing.

Humanitarian aids are coming in from countries including China and Ghana for the people affected by the disaster.

According to the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone, in addition to donations from local Chinese companies and organizations, the Chinese government had decided to provide emergency humanitarian aid of one million U.S. dollars to the Sierra Leonean government.