President Koroma lauds China as special friends in the fight against Ebola

 

Freetown, Sept. 26, 014 (MOHS) – The President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has described the Government and People of China as special friends to Sierra Leone.

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President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma commissioning the Sierra Leone/Chinese Jui Friendship Ebola Holding Centre and Mobile Laboratory

Speaking at the commissioning ceremony of the Sierra Leone/Chinese Jui Friendship Hospital Ebola Holding Centre and Mobile Laboratory held on Friday September 26, 2014 in the hospital compound at Jui, President Koroma lauded the Chinese Government for the timely support and continued assistance in the fight to contain the Ebola outbreak in the country.

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The Mobile Laboratory

He underscored the importance of the Mobile Laboratory to facilitate prompt response, and the assistance from the China Centre for Disease Control and Medical Aid Team of the China Peoples Liberation Army, and urged their local counterpart to make good use of the opportunity to develop their capacity.

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Front Row (L-R) Chinese Ambassador, Zhao Yanbo, President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and Vice President, Alhaji Samuel Sam Sumana and the Chinese Medical Team

President Koroma recalled China’s support to Sierra Leone in the most difficult times, counting the support and commitment demonstrated in every sphere of national development.

China, the President said apart from the infrastructural and human resource capacity, including the equipment to aid Sierra Leone, also provided support to the World Health Organization and the African Union to further strengthen the bilateral and cordial relationship between the two countries.

Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma noted the limited capacity of personnel and equipment in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus disease, and thanked the Chinese Ambassador for the great strides taken in complimenting the efforts of government.

He encouraged the local medical staff to tap the resources of their Chinese counterpart and to work in close partnership to achieve the desired goal in the fight to contain the Ebola outbreak.

President Koroma commended the health workers and other staff at the Police Training School Ebola Isolation and Treatment Centre and encouraged them to continue the good work.

The Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Brima Kargbo described the event as a milestone in the fight against the deadly Ebola outbreak, especially at a time when there is a growing increase on the infection rate of the disease.

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Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Brima Kargbo making his statement

He told his audience that in spite of the challenges, the engagement of communities, active case finding, infection prevention control measures, and early isolation and diagnosis has rated Sierra Leone with a low case fatality as compared to the international standard.

Dr. Kargbo revealed that the 26 patients at the New Isolation and Treatment Centre are doing fine,  and ready to be discharged,  hoping that with the current intervention catalogued with the renewed strength and commitment they would be able to reverse the trend.

The Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Zhao Yanbo observed that the Ebola epidemic is spreading, and very crucial, expressing the need to cut off the transmission chain.

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Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Zhao Yanbo delivering his speech

The presence of the Mobile Laboratory he said would help increase capacity and verification in handling the necessary tests.

The Envoy assured the President of China’s continued support, and encouraged the Chinese Medical Team to work in close collaboration with their local counterpart to make the necessary impact.

Making the final courtesies, Health and Sanitation Minister, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah said the gesture could also be attributed to the dynamic leadership of President Koroma.

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Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah making the final courtesies

He said what the Chinese government has demonstrated is a big sacrifice, noting also their tireless efforts in working 24 hours round the clock to complete their task.

Dr. Fofanah said the Mobile Laboratory is timely, and the proposed Fixed Laboratory when completed would serve as a learning institution and a teaching hospital for the benefit of the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences and the nation as a whole.

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Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs. Ebun Jusu Strasser-King

Other speakers include Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs. Ebun Jusu Strasser-King and the Member of Parliament of the area, Constituency 92, Hon. Pateh Bah.

JAK/PRO/KK/IB/MOHS

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