by Xinhua writer Xing Jianqiao
DAKAR, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Ever since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Senegal on March 2, Chinese companies based in Senegal, together with the Chinese community, have spared no efforts in helping the West African country with donations of medical supplies and equipment in its fight against the common enemy of mankind.
As one of the first countries affected by COVID-19 in Africa, Senegal has so far reported a total of 5,783 confirmed cases, including 82 deaths and 3,859 recoveries.
On June 19, the Chinese technical assistance team based at the Chinese-aided Children's Hospital of Diamniadio on a maintenance mission deployed by Jiangsu Construction Engineering Group Co. Ltd, donated a batch of medical supplies to the hospital, including surgical masks, protective gowns, goggles, disposable gloves and shoe covers.
It also included some needed medical equipment, such as 3 channel ECG Portable Electrocardiographs, bed-side monitors, and blood pressure meters.
"The Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19 just took place, and it was such a sucess. At this occasion, we want to fully implement the 'Defeating COVID-19 with Solidarity and Cooperation' theme of the summit," chief of the Chinese technical assistance team Gong Zhen said.
Having been working in Senegal for more than 11 years, he wanted to show the Senegalese the sincerity and solidarity from China during this difficult time.
For the director of Children's Hospital of Diamniadio, Mame Fama Dieng Gaye, the Chinese technical assistance team "supports us for the normal operation of the hospital, both technically and administratively."
Apart from the donation from Jiangsu Construction Engineering Group, her hospital would also benefit from some of the Chinese government's donation that arrived on June 17 in Dakar, said Gaye.
"I want to take this opportunity to thank, on behalf of Senegalese Ministry of Health and Social Action and the board of the hospital, all the supports provided by the technical assistance team and Chinese government to Children's Hospital of Diamniado," she told Xinhua.
As the largest and the most technologically advanced pediatric hospital in Senegal, Children's Hospital of Diamniadio has played a significant role in deepening the bilateral relations and friendship between Chinese and Senegalese peoples since its opening.
But it doesn't stop just there. Under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, the Senegal Women and Children's Hospital project was launched in 2018 and was completely finished by the end of 2019. It is in the same compound with the Children's Hospital, and can accomodate 84 beds and three operating room.
With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Senegalese government decided to use it as a second treatment center of COVID-19 patients.
"In March, we received a request from Chinese Embassy in Senegal to rearrange the facilities of Senegal Women and Children's Hospital. It was Senegalese Ministry of Health and Social Action that ordered to add 100 additional beds in the hospital to accomodate mild COVID-19 patients," Gong said.
"We had to, at the same time, both assure the maintenant work at the Children Hospital of Diamniadio, and carry out the adjustment work in Women and Children's Hospital," Gong explained, adding that they worked overtime and finished everything three days in advance.
Gong's team also held a seminar on COVID-19 prevention and forwarded the Diagnosis and Treatment Protocol for Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia (trial version 7) to the board of hospital, which gained very positive responses.
Zhang Xun, Chinese ambassador to Senegal, said that Chinese companies and Chinese community in Senegal actively participated in Senegal's fight against COVID-19.
"They used concret actions to interpret China's principal of building relations with Africa based on sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith, and China's efforts to build a community with a shared future for mankind," Zhang said. Enditem