On Saturday the 22nd of May, Chinese Military Medical Experts Group (CMMEG) who are based in Freetown and work from the 34 Military Hospital visited Kono to provide free medical health care in Nimikoro Chiefdom, Kono. The visit happened through the invitation of Wongor Investment and Mining Corporation.
China and Sierra Leone have had a long history of excellent bilateral relationship. In the most recent history of that relationship, the Chinese government deployed six batches of medical expert teams that included 500 experts to visit Sierra Leone and help combat the deadly ebola virus disease. By the time the virus was defeated in 2015, the Chinese experts had created a major impact in the infectious disease and control sector.
Under the good Sierra Leone – China bilateral relationship, the Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) of China signed agreements with the government of Sierra Leone for the establishment of tropical Infectious Disease Prevention and Control Center (IDPC) which is housed at the 34 Military Hospital. The current batch of experts is the fifth within the last five years
The group of experts were invited by the management of Wongor Investment and Mining Corporation (WIMC Ltd) to provide free health care in the area of their operation in Nimikoro Chiefdom, specifically, Kohmaro, Baomao, and Titambaia villages. Not surprisingly, the Komaroh Court Barry was crowded with anxious patients waiting to be seen.
Over one hundred patients and families were treated for various ailments that included malaria, typhoid, hypertension, high blood pressure, contusion, and high fever as observed in many children. Alpha Bangura (pictured here), a 9-month old, was among infants seen by the Chinese medical experts on Saturday. His mother complained that he could not sleep for a few days and could only cry. The experts examined Alpha and observed high fever for which treatment and medication was provided. Several other kids were observed to have high fever and received treatment. Sia Mbayo, an 8-year old girl cried in fear when her finger was pricked to take blood samples for rapid test of malaria and other infections. Several adults benefited from the medical consultation and hypertension and other types of diseases. The experts brought with them enough medication to attend to all the people they scheduled to see. Wongor Mining provided funds to some people to seek further medical care for ailments that were outside the scope of the doctors. Beneficiaries for this included mainly pregnant women.
Speaking to the head of the team of experts, they are used to seeing many patients in a short time. “Before the outbreak of COVID-19,” she opined, “our team of experts had already seen 3500 patients at the 34 Military Hospital who suffered from various infections such as Hepatitis B, AIDS, typhoid, malaria, and more.”
The IDPC set up by the CMMEG at the 34 Military Hospital was praised by President Bio during his visit in early 2020 to ascertain the level of preparedness to handle the COVID-19 outbreak.
Wongor Mining also used the opportunity of the experts’ visit to train its staff in Kono on First Aide response mechanism and other types of emergency responses. The company CEO, its MD, and also the Manager expressed great delight in what the company has done, which they say is only possible because of the relationship between China and Sierra Leone. The company looks forward to constructing a new community health clinic for the operational area soon.