DECEMBER 5, 2014 By Alusine Sesay
The Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone yesterday handed over a cheque of Le70 million to the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs to purchase discharge packages for 100 Ebola survivors in Makeni, Bombali District, Northern Sierra Leone.
Ambassador Zhao Yanbo also provided four motorbikes to facilitate the work of surveillance and contact tracing, 100 mosquito nets and 200 T-shirts for Ebola affected families.
In his brief statement, the Chinese envoy noted that the Ebola outbreak shows no sign of abating, and that Makeni is one of the hardest hit districts, hence the decision to provide funds and other materials to survivors who are in dire need of assistance.
He maintained that China’s assistance to Sierra Leone’s fight to stem the virus is comprehensive as they were the first to intervene when the outbreak broke out by providing medical equipment, food, personnel, lab facilities and cash.
He said that China has a very cordial relationship with Sierra Leone, thus they are very much concerned about the situation, including lives of survivors, adding that they are willing to support and provide the needs of survivors.
Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Alhaji Moijueh Kaikai, said the relationship between Sierra Leone and China is very much strong as demonstrated since the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease when China did not wait for protocols to swiftly intervene by providing assistance.
He talked about the uniqueness of the Chinese assistance, which he said targets direct beneficiaries, while the donation demonstrates the extent of passion China has for the people of Sierra Leone, especially in a time of great need.
He justified the donation to Makeni because, according to him, it is one of the hardest hit districts with high demand of needs by survivors. He thanked the Chinese Ambassador for the gesture and promised to use the items for their intended purpose.
Mayor of Makeni City Council, Sunkarie Kabba-Kamara, expressed her elation for her city to have been chosen as recipient of the Chinese largesse, adding that China has done a lot for Sierra Leone with visible monuments denoting the presence of the Asian power in the country.
She hoped that the donation would accelerate the fight against the dreaded Ebola virus.
Mayor Sunkarie said council would be bugged by post-Ebola challenges, one of which is the burden of caring for Ebola orphans and other victims.
She disclosed that Bombali district continues to record new hotspots on a daily basis with increasing number of confirmed cases, hence the Chinese donation was timely to curb increasing demands of survivors.