The Chinese Embassy on Wednesday, presented medical supplies worth GHC48,000.00 (about 80,000 US dollars), to the University of Ghana Medical Centre to support the fight against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The supplies included 15 ventilators with 60 nasal masks, 20,000 medical masks, 1,600 N95 masks, 120 protective suits, 100 medical googles and some nutritional food items such as milk, cocoa powder, and cereals, to cater for the dietary needs of the patients.
Mr Shi Ting Wang, the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, who presented the items to the Management of the Hospital, said the donation forms part of the Chinese Government’s effort to support developing countries in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
He spoke about the reciprocal support that both countries had enjoyed since the beginning of the outbreak of the pandemic saying China would spare no pains in supporting Ghana and other African countries in fighting the virus.
Mr Wang, however, said to build consensus on uniting to fight against the pandemic, an Extra-Ordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19 was convened via videolink, which was attended by 13 African countries, Chairpersons of the Africa Union Commission, as well as the Director-General of the World Health Organisation, where the participants issued a joint declaration.
He said China would lose no time in following through on the measures announced at the opening of the World Health Assembly and continue to help African countries by providing supplies, sending expert teams and facilitating the Continent’s procurement of medical supplies in China.
He said China would start ahead of schedule the construction of the Africa Centre for Disease Control headquarters this year.
Mr Wang said China would work with Africa to fully deliver the health care initiative adopted at the FOCAC Beijing Summit and speed up the construction of China-Africa Friendship Hospitals and the cooperation between paired-up Chinese and African hospitals.
“China pledges that once the development of COVID-19 vaccine is completed in China, African countries will be among the first to benefit,” he said.
Mr Wang said “we must stay committed to enhancing China-Africa cooperation, especially in public health, economic reopening and the people’s livelihood adding that within the FOCAC framework, his country would cancel the debt of relevant African countries in the form of interest-free government loans that were due to mature by the end of 2020.
The Chinese Ambassador urged all countries to remain committed to upholding multilateralism saying in the face of COVID-19, solidarity and cooperation was the most powerful weapon.
He said China opposes the politicization and stigmatization of COVID-19, as well as racial discrimination and ideological bias, but it stood firm for equity and justice in the world, pledging to work with Africa to uphold the UN-centred global governance system and support the WHO in making greater contribution to the COVID-19 response.
Dr Dairus Osei, the Chief Executive Officer of the University of Ghana Medical Centre, thanked the Chinese Government for its sustained support saying the donation was timely and would help in the treatment of critically ill patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the facility.
He said treatment at the ICU although very expensive, it was being offered free of charge for COVID-19 patients irrespective of their backgrounds, hence the need for more support to help sustain the quality of care being provided to patients.
Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, the Vice Chancellor, University of Ghana, underscored the importance of partnerships especially in ensuring quality research and mentioned the contribution of the Chinese Government towards Ghana’s education, even at the primary level.
Dr Bernard Okoe Boye, the Deputy Minister of Health, made reference to a similar donation by the Chinese Government to the Greater Accra Regional Hospital on Wednesday and thanked the benefactors for their kind gesture.
He said government is making every effort to reduce the spread of the virus, but would need the support of all to achieve this goal.
Dr Okoe Boye said the safety of the populace was not the sole responsibility of Government, but also every person ought to take care of their own health and protect others by strictly adhering to all the protocols.