Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation, Mr. Foday Sawi Lahai, on Tuesday 16th December 2014 officially handed over a brand new Cardio-Sonogram Machine to Freetown Veteran Cardiologist, Dr. Desmond Olu-Black.
This was made possible through efforts of one of Sierra Leone’s leading philanthropists and businessmen, Dr. Adonis Abboud, who also serves as Chairman for the Pikin Bizness, charity. The cardio-sonogram machine/ultrasound device is a gift from New York businessman, Michael Landau who deals in diamonds. Few months ago, in America, Dr. Abboud introduced Dr. Samura Kamara, Sierra Leone Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to Mr. Landau. After the introduction, Mr. Landau presented the gesture to Dr. Kamara in presence of Ambassador Bockarie Stevens. The item was then officially presented to President Koroma on its arrival here.
In his statement at a press conference held at Abboud’s Wilkinson Rd offices, Minister Foday Sawi Lahai described Dr. Adonis Abboud as a philanthropist who concentrates on helping children, youths and the under privileged or those who are direly in need. He said this government needs many Dr. Abbouds and they are very grateful to him for the contributions.
|Dr. Olu-Black holds device, whilst Dr. Abboud & Deputy Minister Sawi look on
“This is a very patriotic gesture and will help to diagnose many children who are suffering from heart problems” the Deputy Minister maintained adding it is first of its kind to be available in Sierra Leone. He said Dr. Desmond Olu-Black is highly knowledgeable in heart disease and may be the happiest Sierra Leonean at the moment as “It is very difficult for someone to have knowledge but lack the capacity to perform his duty efficiently”.
In his contribution Dr. Abboud said Dr. Black is the sole custodian of the device and he will be using it to help the children of Sierra Leone.
He said the journey to get the device started some five years ago and recalled several years ago, he collaborated with media specialist and Financial Times’ representative David Applefield in Paris to take children from Sierra Leone to France for emergency open-heart surgery. Dr. Abboud said many children have benefited from this collaboration.
“Helping children started years ago and Abu Bakarr Jalloh is one of our beneficiaries” he said.
According to him, Jalloh was at age 6 had a heart problem and Pikin Bizness discovered an avenue for a surgical operation abroad. He said Jalloh is today healthy and is about 16 years old.
In his statement, Dr. Olu-Black said it was a defining moment in his medical career especially for the children who are suffering from heart abnormality adding, “Over 200 patients are waiting for this service” which will take diagnosis of heart disease to a higher level.
Dr. Black assured that he will provide the service free of charge to patients.
The ceremony was climaxed with video clip show of President Koroma receiving the donation at State House.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.