The People’s Republic of China through its Embassy near Monrovia and the Republic of Liberia through the John F. Kennedy Medical Center on Friday, March 3, 2023 signed Agreement on China-Liberia Paired Hospital Cooperation Mechanism project.
During the signing agreement, the People’s Republic of China also donated assorted medical equipment to JFK
The signing ceremony took place at the Chinese Embassy in Congo Town.
The Charge d’Affairs H.E Xu Kun signed on behalf of China, while Dr. Jerry F. Brown, general administrator of the John F. Kennedy Medical Center (JFKMC) signed on behalf of Liberia.
Making remarks, Charge d’Affairs Kun recounted that President Xi Jinping announced, on 18th May, 2020 at the Virtual Event of Opening of the 73rd World Health Assembly, that China would establish a cooperation mechanism for its hospitals to pair up with 30 African hospitals to help the continent ramp up its disease preparedness and control capacity. After that, departments of health and hospitals from both China and Liberia have made great efforts to explore new cooperation in area of health.
He said “The project we are going to sign today is a part of the Chinese Aid Projects in Liberia. To my understanding, the total budget of “Chinese HeiLongjiang Provincial Hospital and Liberian JFK Medical Center Internal Cardiovascular Medicine Dept. Cooperative Project” is up to one million USD. This project will help JFK hospital to build an independent medical team comprised with 12 hospital beds, 4 cardiologists and 4 professional nurses, and will effectively improve the accuracy of diagnosis and treatment to the cardiovascular diseases as well as the ability to rescue emergency and severe cases.
Besides this project, the Embassy donated a batch of aid materials to JFK hospital including 2 respirators, 16 oxygen masks, 240 boxes of anti-malarials drugs and 1200 surgical masks. I believe this will help our Liberian brothers to better address the challenges from the disease.
In last October, the Communist Party of China(CPC) held its 20th National Congress. A blueprint was drawn for advancing national rejuvenation through a Chinese path to modernization. It will provide great opportunity for development of bilateral relation between the two countries. Their cooperation is based on the principal of equality, mutual respect, non interference of internal affairs and win-win cooperation.
It is also in line with the Belt and Road initiative and Pro-Poor Agenda for prosperity and development. China will continue to firmly support the development of Liberia’s social and economic development through various means, and is ready to join hands with Liberia to jointly build a shared future, Charge d’Affairs Xu Kun noted in subsequent remarks.
Also making remarks, Deputy Minister for Administration at the Ministry of Health, Madam Norwu G. Howard, said the relationship between both countries has existed many years, but the focus on health care and healing is bound to define their relationship and impact the lives of many for many years to come.
“The establishment of the Cardiovascular Unit at the nation’s premiere hospital will not only improve health care, it will build the capacity of health care providers and give the citizens hope and save many lives”, she said, adding that she is more grateful that with this project Liberians will not have to travel to Ghana or other countries for cardiovascular care.
This is an example of building home grown solution for home grown problems. The health care workers will get a chance to see what quality health care looks like and qualified doctors, nurses will be able to work with their colleagues in other countries where health care is serious, where we have all the resources and equipment that people will be able to function, Madam Howard underscored.
For his part, Dr. Jerry F. Brown, general administrator of the John F. Kennedy Medical Center (JFKMC), expressed his sincere gratitude to the People’s Republic of China through its Embassy for the continued support to the John F. Kennedy Medical Center over the years.
“We are grateful that among many hospitals in Liberia, JFK continue to be the primary hospital where the Chinese medical team continue to offer service. While enjoying the support and service from the China medical team, we are also blessed years ago to establish a relationship with the Provincial hospital in China.
Since the establishment of that relationship, there have been many benefits the hospital has already obtained from the bilateral agreement. Just a few weeks ago, we received several cardiology equipment and those equipment are being installed at the JFK”, he pointed out.
Dr. Brown furthered that the bilateral relationship does not only focus on improving the hospital diagnostic capacity, but also focusing on improving the human resources capacity of the staff at JFK, which he said some of the Chinese medical team members are going to be here working with the local staff to capacitate them and further improve their skills on how to use advanced medical machines.
Regarding the Cardiology Unit, according to Dr. Brown, it is intended to serve as a free cardiology clinic, meaning individuals with different heart diseases will be attended to free for a couple of months or years
He added that the ventilators, also will be used in intensive care unit for critical care. He explained that the ventilators will increase the capacity of the hospital in- take of more critical patients in the intensive care unit. He narrated that the hospital had a situation where other patients that needed admission in the ICU were denied owing to the limited ventilators in the ICU. So with the provision of the two ventilators, China have added additional two patients to the current number of patients JFK is capable of taking in the ICU.
He stressed that his administration will continue to do everything possible to work with the Chinese medical team to meet their stay at the JFK a favorable one, as the hospital also look forward to strengthening the cordial relationship established between JFK and the Provincial Hospital in China.