Freetown, Oct. 8, 014 (MOHS) – Health and Sanitation Minister, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah has lauded the Cuban Government for aiding Sierra Leone in the fight to contain the Ebola outbreak in the country.
Delivering his keynote address at the welcome ceremony of the165 Cuban Medical doctors, nurses and administrators at the Miatta Conference Centre in Freetown, Dr. Fofanah noted the long standing bilateral relationship between the two countries characterized by mutual respect since the days of the Late Siaka Stevens former President of Sierra Leone.
Health and Sanitation Minister, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanan delivering his address
He said the coming of the Cubans has been demonstrated by the love for their profession, and dedication to save life, adding that their image and bravery will be noted in the annals of the history of Sierra Leone.
Dr. Fofanah described Ebola as deadly, and new to the country, and to the health professionals.
He lamented the outbreak, noting that it came at a time when the country’s economy was fast growing with infrastructural and human resource development.
The Minister encouraged health professionals to join the fight, and admonished the populace to seek early reporting as there are chances of survival. He condemned stigmatization against people affected by the disease, pointing out that survivors must be embraced in society as they are no longer a source for infection.
Dr. Fofanah thanked the government and people of Cuba, and expressed optimism of emerging victorious in the fight to contain the disease.
The World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative Dr. Samuel Kartez, described the task on WHO as enormous in the fight against the Ebola, and expressed delight over the positive support from countries to contain the outbreak.
WHO Country Representative, Dr. Samuel Kartez making his statement
He noted the unique relationship between WHO, Sierra Leone and Cuba, adding that the outbreak response has established commitment and solidarity in the fight against the disease.
Cuban Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Jorge Nicolas delivering his solidarity speech
The Cuban Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Jorge Nicolas described the Ebola disease as a threat not only to Sierra Leone and West Africa but to the whole world. A killer disease he said, that has the potential to destroy humanity and all that has to do with the development of a nation.
The Cuban Medical Brigade chanting their National Anthem
He said although WHO facilitated the coming of the Medical Brigade, yet the fight is theirs considering the sisterly relationship between Sierra Leone and Cuba.
Chief Medical Officer and Chairman for the occasion, Dr. Brima Kargbo
Other speakers were the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Economic Cooperation, Mrs. Ebun Strasser-King and the Chief Medical Officer and Chairman for the occasion, Dr. Brima Kargbo.