China Intensifies Support to Sierra Leone

The Chinese Ambassador, Zhao Yanbo has made an announcement of additional support to boost government’s efforts to contain the deadly Ebola outbreak. He made the presentation to President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma at State House on Monday 22nd September, 2014.

Ambassador Yanbo in his presentation said that President Xi Jinping of China was very pleased and as a way of response made an announcement on 18th September of One Million Dollars (USD$1 million) cash and a donation of food items worth Two Million Dollars (USD$2 million) made available to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO).

President Koroma expressed thanks and appreciation to the Chinese government for their continued support to Sierra Leone since the Ebola outbreak started in May. It could be recalled that China has been very supportive in the fight against Ebola and had earlier provided assistance by sending two batches of emergency aid materials, three medical teams, package of humanitarian aid and have been working at the China-Sierra Leone Friendship Hospital at Jui.

Acknowledging the Chinese response to the outbreak, President Koroma said that the manner, speed and provision of the required technical expertise by the Chinese demonstrates that China is indeed a special friend, saying that during the time of normalcy and during this critical time of our history, “China has sent out messages that indeed they are a great friend.” President Koroma also thanked his Chinese counterpart for the support and lauded the extension of assistance to the African Union and the World Health Organization.

President Koroma described the support as very timely and underscored the importance of technical expertise in this fight particularly with the appropriate response China has been rendering during these trying times.

Ambassador Yanbo in his presentation informed the President that as a new package to Ebola stricken countries, President Xi Jinping has decided to give the sum of Two Million Dollars to the African Union and the World Health Organisation, adding that the $2 million worth of food items is specifically meant for Sierra Leone. He also noted that the Chinese Medical Team arrived in Freetown last Wednesday and informed the President that the mobile laboratory will jet in on Thursday at 14:00 hours.

Commenting on the state of the Jui hospital, Ambassador Yanbo said that they are currently working on safety precautions with close partnership from the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to enhance an effective logistical support. The mobile laboratory, he said, will be fixed and ready for treatment and further stated that within three months a permanent laboratory will be set up to strengthen its capacity. Mr. Yanbo expressed optimism that with the help of China and the help of the international community, he is confident that the outbreak will be contained soon.

Source : Government of Sierra Leone

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