May 30, 2017
Japanese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Kaoru Yoshimura, has yesterday on behalf of the Japan Emergency Grant Aid, handed over to the Acting Minister of Health and Sanitation, Madam Madina Rahman, keys to twenty brand new ambulances worth of millions of United States Dollars, as a fulfilment of promise made to Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak.
In his statement during the handing over ceremony at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation’s Public Health National Emergency Operation Centre on Wilkinson Road, His Excellency Yoshimura, said in November, 2014, the project to implement an emergency measure in response to the Ebola virus disease outbreak was launched as a result of the outbreak of the virus in the country.
He said the Japan Government was concerned and immediately responded to the call of President Ernest Bai Koroma and committed four million United States Dollars to support the project to meet its aims and objectives.
“So far, a number of medical items including generators, vehicles and other items costing over one million six hundred thousand United States Dollars have been delivered to Sierra Leone over the past two years under the project. As you may recall in March, this year, we handed over four vehicles and two thermal cameras,” he said.
In her welcome address , Acting Chief Medical Officer at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Madam Sarian Kamara, said the Japanese Government has been a close friend and an important partner of the government of Sierra Leone for the past years.
She said during the Ebola outbreak Japan was one of the countries that came forward to help Sierra Leone and support they provided during the Ebola response was critical in ending the outbreak.
She furthered that in response to the clarion call of the president, Japan donated drugs and medical supplies to the country worth millions of United States Dollars, which were judiciously utilized in holding and treatment centres and health facilities across the country.
She said in addition, 48 silent generators, 400 modern hospital beds and 200,000 liters of fuel was also provided by the Japan Government.
“We are happy that Japan has continued to provide its support to the government and people of Sierra Leone for the recovery of our health system. When the Ebola virus ended on November 7th , 2015, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in consultation with the Japanese Government decided to procure twenty ambulances and 14 utility vehicles from the balance resources of the Japanese Government Grant to Sierra Leone for the fight against the Ebola scourge,” she said.
In her keynote address, Acting Minister of Health and Sanitation, Madam Madina Rahman, said during the deadly virus era, when President Ernest Bai Koroma made a call for help, one of the groups to have answered the call was the Japanese Government.
She said what they donated was something that Sierra Leone wanted and further that before the Ebola outbreak; Japan had always been helpful to the country.