The National – Wednesday, December 22, 2010
By ELIZABETH MIAE
THE cholera epidemic has captured the attention of the Chinese government, prompting it to take action in the national response.
Chinese Ambassador Qui Bohua said his government had been concerned over the loss of lives and the suffering caused by cholera.
He said this prompted the embassy to get in touch with the Chinese Red Cross Society (CRCS) for assistance and it had provided with a donation of US$50,000 (K142,857) to the PNG Red Cross Society to help boost the nationwide efforts to fight the disease.
“I am firmly convinced that the PNGRCS will coordinate and use the assistance efficiently and effectively to scale up training and alleviate the suffering of those victims with the highest priority needs,” Qui said yesterday when presenting the donation at the Red Cross headquarters yesterday.
“The ceremony today is another hallmark of the strong levels of support, collaboration and cooperation between the two countries and I wish greater progress to be made in the fight against cholera.”
He said in the areas of social development, the Chinese government had done its best to implement a dozen of aid projects to support PNG’s development.
In the field of health, Qui said, four Chinese medical teams had worked in PNG respectively and the fifth team arrived last month and was currently working at the Port Moresby General Hospital.
PNGRCS general-secretary Esmie Freda Sinapa said the Red Cross remained an active player in support of the government in its response to the outbreaks.
“We are extremely grateful to our sister society (CRCS) to support us financially towards our fight against cholera,” she said.
“PNGRCS, as an auxiliary to the government, will use this funds to continue to conduct health and hygiene education to increase knowledge of
cholera and diarrheal causes, prevention and options/avenues for treatment (changing mindsets and saving lives) in settlements and communities,” Sinapa said.
She said they believed that hygiene education was an important approach of alleviating the spread of cholera and other diarrheal diseases.
PNGRCS strategies was the training and recruitment of key community level volunteers for increases awareness and set up community committee to continue monitoring and reinforcing health and hygiene messages.