Freetown, Mar 10, 015 (MOHS) – The newly constructed Sierra Leone-China Level 3 Biological Safety Laboratory at the Jui Hospital starts full operation on Wednesday, March 11, 2015.
Second from left (photo) Deputy Health Minister II, Madina Rahman, President Koroma, Chinese Ambassador, Yanbo, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Mrs. Strasser-King and Dr. Abdul Kamara
Addressing the official opening ceremony, President Ernest Bai Koroma described the long standing relationship between China and Sierra Leone as a journey which started 40 years back with evidence of China’s support to national development, crisis, and human resource capacity.
President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma launching the official opening of the Laboratory
“Every steps with the Sierra Leone-China relationship marks a significant milestone”, opined President Koroma.
He noted China’s significant contributions at the wake of the Ebola outbreak which included personal protective equipment, personnel, funds and a mobile laboratory which has now been transformed to a permanent Level three (3) Fixed Laboratory, and on behalf of the government and people of Sierra Leone thanked the Chinese Government for the invaluable support to the country.
The Laboratory, President Koroma noted will continue to provide support at the height of zero Ebola infection and encouraged the Sierra Leone medical team to take advantage of the training opportunity the Chinese government is going to provide noting that we would not continue to depend on the Chinese forever.
President Koroma in photo with the China Centre for Disease Control (CDC) Team
“We are putting together a Post Ebola Recovery Programme on building a resilient health system to fight any future outbreaks”, the President told his audience.
China, the President said, has demonstrated true friendship by supporting the country in time of crisis, and by the very many contributions in the area of agriculture, education, economic, trade, health, and infrastructural development among several other supports.
The President assured the Chinese government of his unflinching support, and disclosed his desire to make a Post Ebola official visit to China to reiterate his appreciation and gratitude for the invaluable assistance received from China.
Making his statement, the Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Zhao Yanbo reiterated his government’s continued support to see Sierra Leone through zero Ebola infection, adding that China would continue his commitment even at the Post Ebola era.
Ambassador Zhao Yanbo making his statement
He maintained that the Laboratory is fully ready for use, disclosing that there is training opportunity for their Sierra Leonean counterpart.
Envoy Yanbo reiterated the need for mutual collaboration between the Chinese and their local counterpart with a view to achieving the desired results.
The Laboratory he said, is capable to detect Ebola virus disease, tropical diseases, and any other dangerous virus, adding that the Chinese Centre for Disease Control would continue to offer assistance and training facility on Infection Prevention Control, hoping that the long standing bilateral and cordial relationship between the two countries would continue to grow from strength to strength.
A conducted tour of the facility formed part of the ceremony.