The Chinese Embassy in Ghana has presented quantities of medical supplies worth GH¢480, 000 (about 80,000 US dollars), to the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC), to support the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The supplies included 15 ventilators, 20,000 medical masks, 1,600 N95 masks, 120 protective suits, 60 face shields, and 100 medical googles, in addition to some food items comprising milk, cocoa powder, and cereals among others, to cater for the nutritional needs of the patients.
Mr Shi Ting Wang, Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, who presented the items to the management of the hospital at a short ceremony in Accra yesterday, said the donation which was made in partnership with the Chinese community in Ghana, formed part of China’s effort in supporting developing countries in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said in addition to the medical supplies sent to over 50 African countries and the African Union, and seven medical expert teams dispatched to the continent, China would do all in its power in the future to give more assistance to Africa.
He said to build consensus on uniting to fight against the pandemic, an extraordinary China-Africa summit on solidarity against COVID-19 was convened on Wednesday via video link and a joint declaration was issued.
In view of this, Mr Wang noted that, China will start ahead of scheduled the construction of the Africa Centre for Disease Control (CDC) headquarters this year.
“China will work with Africa to fully deliver the health care initiative adopted at the Beijng summit of the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and speed up the construction of China-Africa friendship hospitals and the cooperation between paired-up Chinese and African hospitals,” he said.
He pledged that once the development of COVID-19 vaccine was completed in China, African countries would be among the first to benefit, and urged African countries to stay committed to enhancing China-Africa cooperation, especially in public health, economic reopening and people’s livelihood.
He revealed that, within the FOCAC, China will cancel the debt of relevant African countries in the form of interest-free government loans that are due to mature by the end of 2020.
“For those African countries that are hardest hit by the COVID-19 and are under heavy financial stress, China will work with the global community to give them greater support by such means as further extending the period of debt suspension,” he added.
He pledged his support to working closely to build a community with a shared future with Ghana to defeat the virus as China-Ghana marks the 60th anniversary of the diplomatic relations.
Receiving the items, Dr Bernard Okoe Boye, the Deputy Minister of Health, thanked the Chinese government and its citizens resident in Ghana for their sustained support in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that government was constantly monitoring the situation and would take measures that would help the country overcome the pandemic.
Present at the ceremony were Dr Darius Osei, Chief Executive Officer of UGMC, Dr Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana (UG) and some leaders of the Chinese Community in Ghana.
By Vivian Arthur