Expert Chinese team assisting with zika fight

- Public health priority -China’s envoy

Support for Guyana’s public health sector is “priority” for China says Shen Huiyong, Economic and Commercial Counsellor at the Chinese Embassy in Guyana.

According to a media release from the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH),  Huiyong assured Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence on Tuesday that while his government will support several other local sectors, “public health is priority.” He added that China is ready to provide grants to construct new hospitals here or refurbish existing ones, and also provide training for health sector workers.

Huiyong made the disclosure at a meeting in Lawrence’s Brickdam, Georgetown office.

In photo from left are Guo Huaiguang, Second Secretary of the Chinese Embassy; Shen Huiyong, Economic and Commercial counsellor of the Chinese Embassy; Zhang Yanping, Leader of the Chinese public health experts team; Volda Lawrence, Minister of Public Health (MoPH); Dr. Karen Cummings, Minister within the Ministry of Public Health; Colette Adams, Permanent Secretary (MOPH); Jiao Yongjun, member of the Chinese public health experts team; Vanessa Dickenson, Foreign Affairs Representative; Li Zhifeng, member of the Chinese public health experts team; Tian Ye, member of the Chinese public health experts team.

While introducing a four-member expert team on a four-week stay to help Guyana’s strategic fight against the mosquito-borne zika virus, the MoPH release said.

According to the press bulletin, while in Guyana, the medical team will help train local medical employees about zika virus control and strategies; conduct an epidemiological survey; undertake surveillance for the vector spreading zika; do laboratory tests for zika virus specific RNA and antibody detection, and execute technical training programmes to boost the skills of local health workers in the zika eradication effort.

Lawrence lauded the Chinese government for “its quick response” to Guyana’s plea for help in the zika fight citing its ramifications for the regional fight against vector-borne diseases, according to the press bulletin, which further quoted Lawrence as adding, “ This aspect of health is very important to us.”

The minister informed the team that she is particularly interested in capacity building of the nation’s laboratory.

China’s Economic and Commercial Counsellor agreed to broker a closed-door meeting between the Chinese Ambassador to Guyana, Cui Jianchun and Minister Lawrence to fine tune additional areas of cooperation between the two countries in the health sector, the MoPH release said.

Lawrence reminded the team that the Chinese “are part of us.”

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