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NEWS : Local News  

Government to Airlift Drugs for Fire Victims in Sierra Leone
By Abdul Karim Kabia
Mar 25, 2009, 17:18
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The Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation has disclosed that plans are underway by the Government of Sierra Leone to airlift an emergency medical drug consignment to treat victims involved in the Sunday 22nd March 2009 fire disaster that occurred at the Oil Refinery in the east end of Freetown.

Mr. Mohamed D. Koroma was speaking in an exclusive interview with the Awareness Times Newspaper yesterday March 24, 2009, when he stated that the drugs which will be airlifted from Accra Ghana, are expected to arrive in Freetown today, Wednesday March 25, 2009.

According to the Deputy Minister, the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, after paying a visit to the fire victims at the Connaught Hospital, was left with no alternative but to authorize the ordering of a large consignment of drugs worth over US$150, 000 (One Hundred and Fifty Thousand United States Dollars) to treat the dying victims.

"It is rather unfortunate to note that there was not a single drug at the Connaught Hospital at the time the patients were brought in, a situation that forced us to loan essential drugs at the Tankoro and Imres Pharmacies", the Minister divulged, adding that this was much to the annoyance of President Koroma.

President Koroma, he continued, has contacted the appropriate authorities in Accra, Ghana to put together the required drugs and airlift them to the country without further delay.

"President Koroma was concluding arrangements with his Ghanaian counterpart to assist with the helicopter that is expected to arrive with the drugs", he noted.

He said the President is very much committed to the wellbeing of the entire citizenry of the country, adding that he is also making moves aimed at securing more medical drugs for emergency purposes.

According to Mr. Koroma, they inherited a battered health system, with not even an emergency drug store. President Koroma, he assured, has expressed determination to establish an emergency drugs store to serve purposes as such.

It could be noted that a high-powered delegation of top members of the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP), during a visit to the Connaught Hospital to empathize with the fire victims, wasted no time in donating a substantial amount of medical supplies for their treatment, when it became apparent to them that there was absolutely no drugs available to treat the badly burnt victims of the fire incident that is now known to have claimed nine lives, including three police officers.


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