By Alhaji M.B. Jalloh, Press Attaché, Saudi Arabia
President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma’s envoy to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has said that he is very pleased with China’s role in the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease in Sierra Leone. He made the remarks during a courtesy call on his Chinese counterpart in the Arabian capital of Riyadh over the weekend.
On behalf of the Government and the people Sierra Leone, Ambassador Kargbo thanked the Government and people of the People’s Republic of China for their role in the fight against the epidemic describing it as “very encouraging and shows that China is one of the responsible stakeholders in Africa and a proactive contributor to solving humanitarian crises across the world.”
The Sierra Leone Ambassador lauded China’s support to Sierra Leone’s fight against the scourge. He added that Sierra Leone is in need of every support from China and the International Community that will help prevent the virus from spreading further. He indicated that China’s support to Sierra Leone is significant, and Sierra Leone’s history on Ebola will not be complete, if China’s contributions are not mentioned.
Responding, the Chinese Ambassador, H.E Li Chengwen said China will do all within its reach in collaboration with the International Community to combat the epidemic. As a true friend of Sierra Leone, the Chinese Ambassador assured, China will stand side by side with Sierra Leone to fight the scourge.
He also disclosed that Chinese Pharmaceutical companies and institutes of Microbiological Epidemiology are working on vaccines and drugs that will help contain the disease. It would be recalled that China recently stepped up its assistance to Sierra Leone by sending a 59-member laboratory team from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention to the country to help contain the growing Ebola virus.
The team is currently conducting its work at the Sierra Leone – China Friendship Hospital in Jui, a few kilometers in the outskirts of Freetown. Since the outbreak, China has sent about 200 medical workers to the three most affected countries and pledged more than $35m in medical aid to Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and the World Health Organization.
In a related development, Ambassador Kargbo also paid a similar visit to his Egyptian counterpart, H.E Afeefi Abdul Wahab on Sunday, 19th October, 2014. In welcoming Ambassador Kargbo, Ambassador Wahab reminisced the cordial bilateral ties between the two sister countries spanning back to decades. Ambassador Kargbo also recalled the technical assistance provided by Egypt to Sierra Leone in areas such as education, healthcare and agriculture, among others over the years.
The two diplomats also exchanged views on the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa and international cooperation on containing the epidemic. Both men discussed various fields of development to serve the mutual interest of the two countries. The visits are series of courtesy calls by the new Sierra Leone envoy aimed at familiarizing himself with his colleagues in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.