By Esther Wright
The Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone on the 4th of October held a farewell ceremony for 50 Sierra Leonean health workers who departed for China on 7th and 11th of October to participate in a 20-day seminar on infectious disease prevention and control and a 28-day seminar on maternal and child health techniques respectively. Both seminars are fully sponsored by the Chinese government.
The ceremony was graced by Mr. Wang Xinmin, Political Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy, Dr. Anthony Augustine Sandi, Deputy Minister of Heath and Sanitation and Dr. Amara Jambai, Chief Medical Officer. 50 Sierra Leonean health workers and other government officials from the Ministry of Health and Sanitation participated in the event.
In his statement, Counsellor Wang Xinmin stated that Chinese government had always been dedicated to forging stronger cooperation with Sierra Leonean government to help improve the public health system, which concerns the well-being of the people in this country and also echos H.E. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s call for building a community with a shared future for mankind.
Counsellor Wang pointed out that, as the largest country in the world in terms of population, China has made tremendous achievement and gained considerable experience in improving the national public health system. The life expectancy of Chinese people has risen from just 35 years to over 77 since the People’s Republic of China was founded, owing to great efforts of China to control diseases and improve health care systems. China is more than happy to share its rich experience in public health improvement with our brothers and sisters in Sierra Leone.
While addressing the 50 beneficiaries of the training seminar, among which 46 are female health workers, Counselor Wang pointed out that on 27 September 2015, H.E. Chinese President Xi Jinping announced at the Global Leaders’ Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in New York that in the coming 5 years, China would host 30,000 women from developing countries for training programs in China to support women’s development worldwide. Counselor Wang went on to say that China would continue to invite Sierra Leonean females to China for capacity building programs.
On behalf of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, the Deputy Minister Dr. Anthony Sandi expressed his gratitude to the Chinese embassy for providing this capacity building opportunity in the area of public health. He reiterated that the cooperation between his ministry and the Chinese side had been very well and he looked forward to seeing both sides take it to the next level.
To the participants, Dr. Sandi said, “You all are purposefully recommended for this programme in China, and you are expected to make full use of this opportunity to build and strengthen your capacities and upon your return replicate those ideas to make them benefit more people in Sierra Leone.”
The Chief Medical Officer Dr. Amara Jambai also emphasized the importance of the seminars in strengthening the capacities of the health workers. He also requested all the participants to fully immerse themselves in the seminars and acquire knowledge so as to make greater contribution to this country in the area of public health.
In recent years, human resources development has been one of the highlights in the cooperation between China and Sierra Leone. This year, around 700 Sierra Leoneans will benefit from the training programs hosted by the Chinese government.