The Team of 15 Medical Experts from China, who arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on April 8, with Medical equipment worth about $1.5 million reportedly, is expected to complete the mandatory 14 days isolation for the coronavirus today, April 22, and begin the work they are in the country for, tomorrow.
However, 13 days after the arrival of the Chinese Medical Experts made up of Doctors, Nurses, and Laboratory Technicians, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, and the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, have failed to provide a detailed update on the Chinese team and their specific mission to Nigeria.
The situation had raised a lot of concerns and questions as to: who are these Chinese Doctors? What are their names, designations and specialisations? Have they completed the mandatory two-week isolation? Have they started work in Nigeria? What is the scope of their work in Nigeria? How long are they going to stay in Nigeria?
When these questions were put forward to the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, he said: “We are not the only ones getting supplies from China… even New York got 1,000 ventilators from them as donations. Start with this recent evidence of Chinese Experts giving technical support on Covid-19 to many countries, including our former colonial masters.
“A group of Chinese Experts also arrived in the United Kingdom, to help deal with the coronavirus, bringing Medical supplies with them. That was the first official Medical team from China to the UK, to help its fight against Covid-19.
“I do not see the essence of dwelling on the issue of Chinese, in the face of all our other challenges before us. Most nations were glad to get support and supplies from China.”
When contacted for an update on the Chinese Doctors, the President, Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, Dr. Aliyu Sokomba, said: “I know very little about the Chinese ‘Experts’ and their mission in Nigeria.
“The position of the Honorable Minister of Health, is that they are not here to render Medical services, they are here to install and train on how to use the equipment donated by China, as part of China Civil Engineering Construction Company, CCECC, Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR.
“Nothing has been said about them since they arrived”, he noted.
You may recall also, that the Health Minister later disclosed that the Chinese Medical Experts are not here on the invitation of the Federal Government of Nigeria.