Ambassador of Japan to Sierra Leone, His Excellency Karu Yoshimura said that in December 2013, the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) emerged in Guinea and it spread quickly across borders within the sub-region and Sierra Leone experienced the largest outbreak in West Africa.
He went on that the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) left so many scars. He continued that through the outbreak we learnt the importance of sanitation and community team work and above all the weakness of the country’s Health Care system.
His Excellency Karu Yoshimura went on to say that the Japanese government has supported Sierra Leone in many ways especially in donating medical equipment, sending Japanese Medical Experts and also funding projects in the post Ebola situation and other health matters in the country. He added that the Japanese government is very pleased that the International As a way to strengthen health system capacity, resilience, preparedness, prevention, detection and response to health threats in the country, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) through the Japanese Government on Saturday 8th of April 2017 at a well-attended ceremony at Fulamasa, Dembelia Sinkunia Chiefdom, have donated Four (4) Constructed & One Rehabilitated Health Screening posts to residents of Koinadugu district.
Organization for Migration (IOM) takes the initiative for the development of Health Care Capacity Building in Sierra Leone. ‘’In 2015 Japan decided to collaborate with IOM for the project of strengthening Health System Capacity, Preparedness and Resilience by providing one million United State Dollars.
He furthered that Japan’s commitment to improve the Health Sector was reaffirmed at the 6th Tokyo International Conference on Africa Development in Kenya and at the conference, strengthening of Health System; Resilience was introduced as one of Japan’s commitment pillars.
Mr. Sanusi Savage, head of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Sierra Leone in the handing over ceremony said that he is delighted as a fellow compatriot to officially handover on behalf of IMO four newly constructed and one rehabilitated health screening posts to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation through the DHMT of Koinadugu District. He added that the health care facilities including the materials will go a long way in helping the people of Koinadugu to swiftly respond to any Public Health Emergency in a robust and more coordinated manner. He also thanked the Koinadugu District Health Medical Team (DHMT) under the leadership of Dr. Francis Joseph and the Paramount Chieftaincy for their commitment and cooperation during the work in providing lavish dinners, rescue vehicles during the rainy season or even palatial accommodation at short notices. He went on that the International Organization for Migration (IOM) will soon begin a new project funded by the Japanese government entitled: ‘’
Strengthening Sierra Leonean National Health Care Capacity through Diaspora Engagement” in Koinadugu District. He added that the new project will aim to harness the vital skills possessed by the Diaspora community to contribute positively to the economic development of Sierra Leone. He reaffirmed the unwavering commitment of IOM to continue providing support and assistance to the government and the people of Sierra Leone.
The Paramount Chief of Dembelia Sinkunia Chiefdom in welcoming the delegates from both Guinea and Sierra Leone said that the five screening health facilities are important for both the Guinean and Sierra Leonean people because both borders are closed to each other.
He went on that before the commencement of the structures they had some confrontations with the Guinean people as the workers were driven twice by the Guinean Military and he then wrote a letter to the Sierra Leone Police to assist and eventually the structure was finally erected. He added that the matter had been settled amicable. The representative from the Guinean Authorities Dr. Nfa Alie Bangura said that the Guinean Government is very pleased of the initiative and he thanked the International Organization for Migration (IMO) for their supports in providing the screening facilities that both countries would benefit from. He added that the facilities will help greatly in the surveillance process in preventing the emergence of the outbreak of other diseases in the country.
Dr. Sillah the Director of Environment and Sanitation in Sierra Leone receiving the five Ports of Entries (POE) on behalf of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation said that the screening Ports of Entries will help the government of Sierra Leone greatly in detecting diseases easily and prevent the spread of any disease.
He thanked the Japanese government for providing the funds for the constructing of the buildings and he also thanked the administration of the International Organization for Migration (IMO) in Sierra Leone for their support in constructing the buildings.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.