June 9, 2020
By Mohamed Sesay
Minister of Planning and Economic Development (MoPED) Dr. Francis Kaikai has on the 5th June 2020, held a coordination and collaboration meeting with authorities of the Bo and Pujehun districts Emergency Operation Centers (EOCs) and the District Covid-19 Emergency Response Centers (DICOVERC’s). The meeting which was held in Bo and Pujehun in the Southern Region respectively, was also embedded with the introduction of district International Non- Governmental Organization (INGO’s) and Non-Governmental Organization (NGO’s) covid-19 response leads to key stakeholders and the Emergency Response Centers within the two districts. Dr. Francis Kai-Kai said with strong collaboration and coordination of Non-governmental Organizations (International and Local) in the COVID-19 fight, clearly demonstrates government’s commitment in its preparedness and response to the Corona virus pandemic in Sierra Leone.
While presenting the NGO District Leads to support the District COVID-19 Emergency Response Structures (DICOVERC’s) in Pujehun and Bo District’s respectively, Dr. KaiKai further stated that the presentation of INGO’s/NGOs to the DICOVERCs was to establish a stronger coordination and collaboration gearing towards putting a constructive fight against the pandemic coupled with the effective utilization of COVID-19 resources in Sierra Leone.
“When President Bio heard about Corona virus spreading in China and other parts of the world, he immediately started taking proactive measures, even when there was no case in the country… This collaboration with NGOs will continue to yield very good dividend in the COVID-19 fight, it will be an experience we will share with other countries, as best practices”. Said Dr. kaikai.
He continued that government’s Quick Action Economic Response Plan (QAERP) would definitely help maintain key supply lines for most of the country’s products, after the COVID-19 pandemic. He further re-echoed President Bio’s commitment to address the numerous challenges of the COVID-19 response which the country is currently faced with.
On his part, The Coordinator of Pujehun District EOC/DICOVERC Mohamed Kpana Gbato Kemokai, thanked the INGOs for their laudable gesture. He acknowledged the support from INGOs’ as a valuable addition to government’s resources and structures. He added that they would ensure to work with the Leads in ensuring that the fight against COVID-19 is won collectively. The Coordinator of Bo District EOC/DICOVERC, David Fortune, also shared similar sentiments with Mr. Kemokai.
In his presentation, the Bo District Council Chairman Joseph Munda Gbinde, acknowledged the government’s strategic determination and leadership in such difficult times, affirming that they would continue to support the DEOCs to ensure the gaps and overlaps in the covid-19 fight are minimized wherein the limited resources available are used in the most focused way to realize the government’s vision.
Align with the above, the District Medical Officers for Pujehun and Bo Districts…. respectively acknowledged the support and collaboration from NGOs in psychosocial support, contact tracing, social mobilization and Quarantine services among others. They further made an appealed to other development partners come to their aid and support the districts in the fight against the novel coronavirus diseases.
The NGO District COVID-19 Leads, who were nominated by SLANGO, headed by Shellac Davies and the INGO Steering Committee in consultation with MoPED would bring resources and delivery capacity to the district and help the district COVID-19 response officials and stakeholders coordinate the work and information around the preparedness and response to the COVID-19 pandemic.