OCTOBER 22, 2014 By Regina Pratt
The World Bank and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on Monday (20th October) donated 38 Bajaj Boxer BM motorbikes, 13 Dell desktop 4th generation Intel computers and accessories worth Le344,980,000 to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation at a ceremony held at UNFPA headquarters in Freetown.
While presenting the items to the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sarian Kamara, UNFPA Country Representative Dr. Bannet Ndyanabangi disclosed that the World Bank had provided funds to the Government of Sierra Leone, with UNFPA being an implementing partner, to support the surveillance pillar in the Ebola campaign.
Dr. Ndyanabangi said UNFPA has trained 3,000 contact tracers to contain the outbreak, and provided them with mobile phones to facilitate communication and alert health workers to take suspected cases to treatment centers.
“These items are to be used solely for the purpose of the Ebola surveillance and strengthening of data centers in the districts,” the UNFPA country representative insisted.
On behalf of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Sarian Kamara thanked the UNFPA country representative for the donation. She added that the ministry was in need of support from partners to contain the disease and that most of the gains made would be reversed if the disease is not contained.
She further disclosed that there was a reduction in post and antenatal cares as well as deliveries, stating that UNFPA has always supported the ministry and that the motorbikes are needed in the field for surveillance officers, as surveillance is one of the key strategies to end the outbreak.
Dr. Kamara assured that the motorbikes and other items would be distributed nationwide, and commended the World Bank for the donation as she appealed for more support.
Meanwhile, Director of Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Amara Jambai, expressed confidence that the donated items would help improve the efficiency of health officials to collect data with professionalism and on time.