NOVEMBER 6, 2014 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone has handed over materials worth millions of Leones to the Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Peter Bayuku Konteh, for onward delivery to the Koinadugu District Ebola Task Force as part of efforts to help them contain the spread of the disease in the district.
In his statement, Ambassador Zhao Yanbo thanked the people of Koinadugu for voluntarily organizing themselves to help prevent the spread of the disease.
According to him, they decided to act swiftly on the request of the Tourism Minister, on behalf of the district Ebola task force, for material support because they were worried and concerned about the sudden spread of the disease in the district.
“We are worried and concerned about the cases in the district, which is the last to be affected by the Ebola virus disease. We know that there are more than 10 cases so far. To show our quick response, we asked the minister for the list of materials that are urgently needed so that we can provide them,” he said and expressed hope that the items donated could be useful and properly utilized in the fight to eradicate the disease in the district.
Until recently, Koinadugu was the only Ebola free district in the country, but that enviable record was lost when the first two cases were confirmed few weeks ago. The district yesterday (5 November) recorded the highest new cases in the country – 15 – and now has thirty-eight (38) cumulative confirmed cases.
Responding, Tourism Minister Peter Bayuku Konteh expressed thanks and appreciation to China, through the envoy, for their unflinching support to the Ebola fight in Sierra Leone, in particular to Koinadugu District.
He informed the envoy that the district was the first to set-up an Ebola taskforce when the disease broke out in May, and that since then all the stakeholders in the district have been working assiduously no ensure zero Ebola infection until they unfortunately recorded the first two cases in October.
“I approach the ambassador for material help on behalf of the Koinadugu District Ebola Task Force and I was given the money needed to buy all the materials listed. We are grateful for your additional support towards the Ebola fight in the country,” Mr. Konteh said.
The items donated include: gloves, chlorine, sanitizers, boots, tarpaulins, safety wears and thirty-four (34) thermometers, among others.