By Hassan G. Koroma
As a show of appreciation to people in their area of operation, the Magbass Sugar Company – a Chinese sugar company located in Magburaka, Tonkolili District, in collaboration with the Chinese Medical Team in Sierra Leone, on Friday 13th December offered free medical treatment to its workers and over 300 people in the surrounding villages.
In an exclusive interview with the General Manager of the company, Yang Cheng during the free medical exercise at the sugar factory complex, he said the company does appreciate working with the people in that part of the country and that they are aware accessing quality medical service has been a challenge for residents thus their decision to provide free medical treatment to the people with drugs worth over Le5 million.
“We believe we can help to save the lives of people in the community we are operating, which is why we are now collaborating with the Chinese Medical Team in the country to provide them with free medical treatment,” said Mr. Cheng.
He added that they intent to do more for the people and the community as a way of giving back to Sierra Leone. “The people have been very nice to us since we started our factory operation in the country,” he said.
Giving a brief history of the company, General Manager Cheng said the Magbass Sugar Company is one of the Chinese companies that started operations in Sierra Leone in 2003, immediately after the end of the country’s civil war. The company, he said, employed over 1,734 (one thousand, seven hundred and thirty-four) Sierra Leoneans working both in the sugarcane farm and the factory.
On his part, leader of the Chinese Medical Team, Wang Yaoping, said they have been working with the government of Sierra Leone for the past 40 years, and their members are deployed in all government hospitals across the country helping to save the lives of Sierra Leoneans.
He said he has been working in the country for over two months now and has visited almost all areas in the provinces with his team treating people for common diseases afflicting the people such as malaria, syphilis and others.
“This is a major problem because people in the provinces lack prevention knowledge of those diseases,” he said. “Working in the country is very much challenging for me and my team due to the language barrier, but we are trying to adapt.”
Adama Conteh, one of the beneficiaries of the free medical treatment, said the company has been helpful to them over the past 10 years they have been operating in their area, and that it has done a lot for them by providing employment for their husbands and their children.
“This gesture from the company is very vital to us because it has come at the right time we need it most. Here we have challenges with medical facility and sometimes we have to travel miles to access better medical treatment,” she said.