The Chinese doctors who arrived yesterday in Nigeria are expected to begin their duties today. Let's go on to how they got here yesterday and how they're going to operate here in Nigeria, and what they want every Nigerian to understand from their arrival.
The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Zhou Pingjian; Executive Director, China Civil Engineering Construction Company, Mr. Jacques Liao, senior officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Health and others welcomed the medical staff who landed about 5:15 pm.
And they said they donated a lot of things. From Algeria to Zimbabwe, both funding from the Chinese government and Chinese companies operating on the continent, mobilized by their embassies, have embarked on a cash, PPE and test kit donation blitz.
The personnel, who are experts in infectious diseases, respiratory disease, intensive care, cardiology, neurology, general surgery and anesthesiology, all wore face masks as they filed off the aircraft.
Liao also disclosed in a statement on Tuesday that the medical team would come with 16-tons test kits, ventilators, disinfection machine, disposable medical masks, drugs, infrarot thermometer and other items ordered by the Federal Government.
He noted, "All working team members have tested negative for COVID-19 and will begin their stay in Nigeria by spending fourteen days in quarantine.
"The team's primary purpose is to provide critical and necessary healthcare assistance for CCECC employees. We always come to the employees with appropriate personal protective equipment and medical supplies. "They'll be spending 30 days in the country.
The medical team's visit had been mired in controversy with the Nigerian Medical Association and other organisations opposed to the initiative.
But the CCECC, which arranged the visit, said the Chinese doctors had come to treat their employees, adding that they would come with their medications, and equipment to perform COVID-19 tests on the country's workers.
China has made it clear that it wants to help but even in Africa, where it has established deep ties, this assistance is regarded suspiciously and even rejected in some cases.
"There is a urgent need for medical protective equipment and supplies to assist public health workers in Africa, and China's contributions fill part of that need at a time when not many others have stepped up to help," says Eric Olander, Chinese Africa Project Manager.