NOVEMBER 18, 2014 By Victoria Saffa
As local and international partners continue to donate to the Ebola fund, members of the Pharmaceutical Business Association (PBA) last Thursday donated items worth over Le189 million to the National Ebola Response Committee (NERC). The items donated are geared towards helping the government of Sierra Leone tackle the Ebola epidemic that has killed over 1,200 people nationwide.
The donation took place at the NERC headquarters, Special Court building, New England, in Freetown. The ceremony attracted members of the Association, close associates and the entire NERC team.
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The items donated include 1,444 boxes of Oral Rehydration Salt, 1,000 boxes of disposable gloves, 500 hundred pieces of Personal Protective Equipment, 1,200 aprons, 500 face masks, 40 gallons of Retro-Guard Antiseptic, 280 pieces of hand sanitizers and 1,000 potassium chloride.
Speaking during the handing over ceremony, President of PBA, Ethelbert Tejan said the donation was part of their responsibility to help the government as everybody across the country is in this fight.
“We do not need to back down now but to help fight the virus; we need to do it in robust manner in order to speedily tackle the outbreak. These items were personally contributed by some members of the association and that it’s not the first time the association is making a donation to the Ebola fight. Before now, some members of the pharmacies business have made donation in this direction, all geared towards fighting this national epidemic, including the production of posters and taking part in awareness and sensitization activities,” Tejan said, adding that would not be their final assistance as we are closely monitoring the situation.
Receiving the items, Coordinator of NERC, Steven Gaoija thanked the pharmaceutical sector for making the donation at such a critical time in the Ebola fight. “Your role in controlling the transmission of the virus has been very important as you are now being recognized by the government,” Gaoija said, adding that the association, in collaboration with the Central Medical Stores, had been making sure that fake and substandard drugs do not enter the market, which he acknowledged would have made it very hard for people to survive the virus.
The PBA was established in the ‘80s to support the work of the Pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone and to also ensure that fake and sub-standard drugs do not enter the country. Over the years, the association has been rendering help to medical students and was also instrumental in helping the government stop the last cholera epidemic in 2012