President Koroma Commissions Mobile Lab and Holding Centre

As Government continues to intensify its efforts in the fight against the Ebola virus disease (EVD), President Ernest Bai Koroma on Friday 26th September 2014, commissioned the BSL-3 mobile laboratory at the Sierra Leone-China Friendship Hospital at Jui.

The occasion also saw in attendance officials from the Ministries of Health and Sanitation and Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and experts from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Medical team from China.

President Koroma noted that the facility will increase the response time in sample throughput, especially during this trying moment of the Ebola outbreak and also create opportunities for capacity development of health workers in the country. With this, President Koroma urged Sierra Leoneans working at the Hospital to exploit the opportunities and develop their various capacities.

The President described the occasion as a great moment in the bilateral relations of the two countries, and pointed out that the support China had been rendering to the Sierra Leone’s development strides “even at such a difficult time in our history,” is just outstanding. “China has provided equipment, personnel and cash and further extended assistance to the World Health Organization and the African Union for a collective approach to eradicating this dreadful disease,” he disclosed. President Koroma also stated that the presence of the CDC Team will help to break the chain of transmission of the disease, as China as he put it, is a special friend to Sierra Leone.

The Chinese Ambassador Zhao Yanbo underscored the importance of breaking the chain of transmission of the virus as early detection of the virus will immensely help the fight against the Ebola. He continued to pledge China’s support to Sierra Leone, saying that was the reason China sent its CDC medical experts in Sierra Leone to help contain the spread of the virus. Ambassador Yanbo reiterated the need for Sierra Leone medical staff to grab the opportunity and tap from the knowledge of the Chinese experts, especially in terms of infectious diseases.

He encouraged the Chinese experts to work closely with their Sierra Leonean counterparts for an effective joint effort to contain the disease.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr Brima Kargbo said that the Ministry of Health and Sanitation has taken up measures to contain the spread of the virus and described the BSL-3 laboratory as a vivid testimony, adding that the centre and the laboratory will help in diagnosing more cases and increase sample testing of Ebola and further stated that the occasion was a symbolic testament of the firm ties between both countries.

The Member of Parliament for Constituency 92 Hon. Pateh Bah said the facility offers a huge benefit to his constituents, whilst paying glowing tributes to fallen medical professionals who had lost their lives at the Ebola frontlines, in the name of saving lives.

In a similar effort, President Koroma made a spot check at the Sierra Leone Police Training School Holding and Treatment centres at Hastings and also visited the ongoing construction site for an Ebola treatment centre situated at Kerry Town, where he inspected facilities meant for holding and treatment centres. The President was led on a conducted tour by Combat Engineer, Captain David Morris who informed the President that the Cuban medical team will form part of the training of staff before the centre can be handed over.

Source : Government of Sierra Leone

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