The Chinese doctors that arrived Nigeria yesterday will be starting their duties today. Let’s go further to how they arrived yesterday and how they will be working here in Nigeria and what they want every Nigerian to understand from their coming.
The medical personnel who landed around 5:15 pm were received by the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr Zhou Pingjian; Executive Director, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, Mr Jacques Liao, senior officials of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Health and others.
And they said they have donated many things. From Algeria to Zimbabwe, both Chinese government support and Chinese companies operating on the continent, mobilized by their embassies, have embarked on a donation blitz of cash, PPE and testing kits.
The personnel, who are experts in infectious diseases, respiratory illness, intensive care, cardiology, neurology, general surgery and anesthesiology, were all wearing face masks as they filed out of the aircraft.
Liao, in a statement on Tuesday, also disclosed that the medical team would be coming with 16-ton test kits, ventilators, disinfection machine, disposable medical masks, drugs, infrared thermometer and other items ordered by the Federal Government.
He noted, “All members of the working team have tested negative for COVID-19 and shall commence their stay in Nigeria by spending 14 days in quarantine.
“The primary purpose of the team is to provide CCECC employees with critical and necessary healthcare assistance. They are also coming with adequate personal protective equipment and medical items for the employees.”
They will spend 30 days in the country.
The visit of the medical team had been mired in controversy with the Nigerian Medical Association and various groups opposing the initiative.
But the CCECC which facilitated the visit said the Chinese doctors were coming to treat its staff, adding that they would be coming with their drugs, and equipment to carry out COVID-19 tests on the company’s workers in the country.
China has made clear it wants to help but even in Africa where it has cultivated deep ties, that help is viewed suspiciously and in some cases even unwelcome.
“There is a desperate need for the medical protective equipment and gear to support public health workers in Africa and China’s donations fill a part of that need at a time when not many other people have been stepping up to help,” says Eric Olander, managing editor of The China Africa Project.