China (Hunan) Medical Team Successfully Completed Fifth Batch of Medical Aid for Sierra Leone's Battle Against Ebola

Aug 06, 2015, 10:00 ET from Xiangya Hospital Central South University

CHANGSHA, China, Aug. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- On May 9, 2015, the China (Hunan) Medical Team set out for Sierra Leone in response to the call for aid. This team was organized by Health and Family Planning Commission of Hunan Province designated by NHFPC, and led by Xiangya Hospital of Central South University of China.

Under the strong support of the provincial government, the thorough arrangements of the state and provincial Health and Family Planning Commission, the positive coordination of the Embassy of China in Sierra Leone as well as the care and encouragement of the leadership of Central South University, the entire medical team bear their mission and responsibility deeply in mind and worked day and night in the battle against Ebola with the superb technology and rigorous attitude, carrying forward to save lives.

Staying in Africa, thousands of miles away from the motherland and loved ones, the team inherited and developed the international humanitarian spirit with superb medical technology and braveness of soldiers. The medical team successfully completed the treatment of three confirmed cases of Ebola, the upgrade and transformation of Jui Government Hospital and the check and transfer of the remaining supplies for the aid and other tasks with no one infected, obtaining gratifying achievements of 'victory with no infections and full cure.'

On July 23, a grand Summing - up and Commendation Conference was held by the Hunan provincial party committee and the provincial government, NHFPC, Hunan HFPC, Central South University and Xiangya Hospital for the team who just finished 20-day medical isolation after returning China. The conference fully reviewed the work of team for the past two months fighting against Ebola and recognized the dauntless spirit and the great achievements of the 40 members of the team.

Rapid reaction and detailed preparation

The aid to West Africa this time is the largest overseas medical aid action since the founding of new China in terms of scale and the dispatch of the medical team was the first time that Hunan province had led to organize and execute the international epidemic prevention and control actions. The fifth China (Hunan) medical team was holding the remaining stick in the race and undertook the task to provide aid and comfort.

This April, when designated for the medical aid to West Africa, Xiangya Hospital of Central South University attached great importance to the assignment. The department of medical administration and other departments responded quickly to deploy and organize the recruitment of volunteer medical staff. The selection of the members was concluded and submitted to Hunan HFPC in no more than 4 hours.

Appointed by NHFPC and from Xiangya Hospital (18 people), the medical team, with the vice director of Hunan HFPC Mr. Fang Yibin as the chief manager, and the assistant to president of Xiangya Hospital Mr. Qiu Yuanzheng as the team leader, was composed of 40 medical staff and technicians from Xiangya Hospital, Hunan Provincial People's Hospital, The First Hospital of Changsha, Hunan Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and 302 Military Hospital of China. All members had passed testing of their working capability and physical condition. It was worth mentioning that the medical team also included a logistics group of two cooks, two drivers, a pharmacist, a translator, an equipment maintenance man and a team reporter.

The complete logistics is key to the successful overseas medical aid. All logistical work for the medical team was carried out by Xiangya Hospital. It took relatively short time for the department of medical administration, the logistics office, the capital and equipment office, the health management center and other departments and divisions to refine the program, team up the staff, make a budget, organize the physical examination of the team members, and prepare the required materials and equipment, reagents for clinic test, medicines and medical supplies.

With the prompt allocation of the special funds to establish a fast and smooth mechanism for advance funding and the mobilization of all available resources, it rapidly completed the raising of supplies, which ensured the work of the medical team during their stay in Sierra Leone.

Overcoming multiple difficulites, the medical team successfully completed the handover upon arrival

After the 5-day closed centralized training, simulations and assessment in early May, the medical team headed to Sierra Leone in batches. During their stay, the medical team assumed tasks not only to observe the haemorrhagic fever cases for the Ebola patients, but to treat the confirmed cases, operate and manage the observation and treatment center of Jui Government Hospital, and also to provide epidemic prevention and control guidance, health education and disease diagnosis and treatment to the staff of China's Embassy and other Chinese organizations, and implement the planning, layout, construction and operation of restoring the normal diagnosis and treatment function of Jui Government Hospital.

The team was not daunted, and they fully carried forward the Hunan culture and spirit "take the lead and take the responsibility" for the noble mission. They became familiar with the working environment and process in only one week and then rapidly completed the handover from the previous Jiangsu medical team.

100% cure rate of the confirmed cases, 'zero infection' of the medical team and the successful transformation of Jui Government Hospital

The medical team, with professor Huangyan, director of the infection department and the nursing team, with Deng Guiyuan, deputy head nurse of cardiology department both from Xiangya hospital as the respective team leader, had treated 39 patients, of which three confirmed Ebola patients were cured and discharged. It was known that two of the Ebola patients were in severe condition. One was a woman abondoned by her family and originally refused treatment. But with the care of the medical staff, she successfully regained health and was discharged. The other one was a 73 year old patient with severe underlying diseases.

All 40 members of the team, never became infected with Ebola. The cross infection between the suspected patients and the confimed patients was also put to an end. The team successfully fulfilled the requirements of the party and the country to 'win the battle with no infection' and played a good exemplary role in the world, showing China's overall medical strength in infection prevention.

After curing 3 confirmed Ebola patients, Hunan medical team soon embarked on the transformation of Jui Government Hospital. In early June, the medical team started the final stage of disinfection of the hospital. At the end of June, the Jui Government Hospital passed the WHO field inspection.

Rich extracurricular activities with the temporary party branch playing an important role

The medical team also carried out many meaningful "extracurricular activities." On June 1st, International Children's Day, the medical team visited a school. Despite the hard work, the medical team also organized celebration activities for May 12, International Nurses Day and Dragon Boat Festival.

Six of the team members had the honor to be admitted to Chinese Communist Party as a preparatory party member. During the two month stay, the team was highly disciplined, united and cooperative and working carefully. The temporary party branch played an indispensible role. The 23 member party branch with Fang Yibing, the secretary, and Qiu Yuanzhen, Deputy Secretary, greatly enhanced the cohesion and effectiveness of the team by focusing on studying and implementing the 'Three stricts and three honests.'

The accompanying reporters despatched by the Xiangya hospital joined the medical team, which enabled the all-around intensive reports on the touching stories and unexpected events during the fight against the epedemic. 50 of the reports were covered in major media outlets, greatly spreading the positive energy of the medical team. In addition, the team also produced two articles in newspapers with total 26 printed pages for the team, which have been preserved as the historical data of China's medical aid in Sierra Leone's battle against Ebola.

SOURCE Xiangya Hospital Central South University