BEIJING, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- As the proverb goes, "A friend in need is a friend indeed," and China's aid to Africa during the Ebola outbreak highlights China's resolve to help the African people fight the epidemic.
China, deeply concerned over the spread of the deadly virus, has sent disease control experts to three Ebola-affected West African nations -- Guinea, Liberia and Sierra -- marking the first time China provided assistance to foreign countries in the form of dispatching taskforces of public health emergency experts.
A Chinese plane carrying emergency humanitarian supplies, including protective clothing, disinfectants, thermo-detectors and medicines, landed in Guinea on Monday.
The experts and supplies came at a critical time as the deadly virus became rampant in the region, claiming nearly 1,000 lives.
China has long been committed to helping African countries improve their medical and healthcare conditions, and answered the call from Africa and the World Health Organization (WHO) for assistance swiftly and efficiently out of true concern for the health of African people.
Well aware of the destructive effect of viruses, with the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003 and the H7N9 bird flu virus in recent years, China has accumulated rich experience in control and prevention of public health emergencies.
The Chinese experts in Africa will work with local medical teams and share their expertise in controlling and preventing disease, training local medical workers on personal protection, disinfection and biological safety.
Some may suspect China's aid to Africa is conditional. Those people should know that it is in line with Chinese virtues to help those in need while asking nothing for return, which is something few countries do.
To help Africa fight against malaria, the widespread epidemic, China assisted with the construction of 30 hospitals and 30 malaria prevention and control centers. It also provided 800 million yuan (about 130 million U.S. dollars) worth of medical equipment and supplies, such as anti-malaria drugs, and trained over 3,000 medical staff.
Meanwhile, there are currently 43 Chinese medical teams in 42 African countries, and an increasing number of teams are sent to remote areas in Africa annually, offering programs to train various types of qualified personnel on the continent.
Since the outbreak of the Ebola epidemic, members of Chinese medical teams have remained in their positions and continue to offer treatment to the patients infected with the virus, due to their deep concern for the health of African people and strong belief that the virus can be defeated.
It is hoped that with the assistance from the international community, China included, the spread of the deadly virus can be controlled and prevented sooner rather than later.