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China to award Ebola-fighting doctors' efforts

Updated: 2015-01-06 21:24
By WANG XIAODONG (chinadaily.com.cn)

China will select 10 individual doctors and a group from the hundreds of doctors who have been sent to Africa since early last year to help fight the Ebola epidemic to award their efforts, authorities announced on Tuesday.

Experts and officials from authorities including the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the National Health and Family Planning Commission will recommend 10 doctors and the result will be announced in February, according to the association.

The number of medial staff dispatched since February when the Ebola epidemic broke out in West Africa and those who will be dispatched to the region by the Chinese government in the near future has exceeded 1,000, and the government also provided four sums of financial assistance totaling 750 million yuan ($120 million) to these countries, according to Xie Yuan, vice-president of Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.

China will continue to send more doctors and public health experts to African countries to help fight diseases and improve health policies, Wang Liji, vice-director of the international cooperation department at National Health and Family Planning Commission, said.

"We will send more medical teams who will stay in Africa permanently so they better treat local patients," he said.

China has helped African countries build more than 100 hospitals, and provided technological assistance to them so their gap with developed countries has been greatly reduced, Wang said.

Since 1963 China has sent more than 20,000 medical staff to foreign countries and regions, mostly in Africa, and 50 of them died during their service abroad, Wang said.

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