By Frederick V. Kanneh
Dr. Alpha Wurrie and Ambassador Hu Zhangliang at the handing over ceremony
The People’s Republic of China has joined forces with the Sierra Leone Government in the fight against COVID-19 by donating more medical supplies to the Health Ministry.
The medical material which included Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), ventilators, among others, were handed over to the Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Alpha Wurrie by the Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Hu Zhangliang, at the Central Medical Stores, New England Ville in Freetown.
In his statement, Ambassador Hu said the donation was the third set of its kind that the Chinese Embassy has given to the ministry within one month and two days.
‘‘This is the third batch of donation from the Chinese side to help Sierra Leone to combat COVI-19. The items in this donation include, 10,000 medical masks, 2,000 N95 masks, 2,000 PPEs, 500 forehead thermometers, 2,000 medical goggles, 10,000 pairs of medical gloves, 10,000 pairs of medical shoe covers and 5 ventilators,’’ he said.
He continued by thanking the World Food Programme (WFP)’s County Office in Ghana for facilitating the transportation of the items from Ghana to Sierra Leone, adding that WHO and UNFPA also played significant roles in the process, for which he was grateful.
He added that the Chinese Government highly appreciated the resilience and solidarity shown by the Sierra Leone Government and people during such a difficulty time.
He stated that since a fire brigade needs fire engines and that a fire man needs extinguishers, the Chinese Government donated items were like engines and fire extinguishers for Sierra Leone’s pandemic fighters.
He also announced that another batch of donation by Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation will arrive in Sierra Leone, since they were preparing for the third round of donation to Africa Union, which Sierra Leone is part of.
The Head of Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) Rtd. Brid. Kellie Conteh, said there is a strong bond between the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone and the government, and that for the past three months, Ambassador Hu has strengthened the bond significantly by providing three important donations to the government.
“I am thankful as the EOC Coordinator to join the minister of health and sanitation to receive this donation on behalf of Sierra Leone. China has always stood by Sierra Leone and we thank them for that,” he said.
In his keynote address, Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Alpha Wurrie, said that was the third time they have received donations from the Chinese Government, adding that he had earlier said in one meeting that health workers were constraint with PPEs, and that the Chinese complimented the country’s effort in that stride.
“We cannot have better brothers than the people of China. They have always been there for us in time of need. As a country, we therefore thank them and pray that the bond continues,” he said.