The Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Sierra Leone His Excellency Ambassador Mr. Kaoru Yoshimura during the handing over ceremony of the twenty (20) Ambulances to the Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Health and Sanitation said that the donation was made possible through the Japanese Emergency Grant Aid. He added that in November 2014, the Japanese government launched an emergency measure in response to the Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak in Sierra Leone and other places in the West Africa Regions and the Japanese government has committed four (4) million US Dollars to support the project to meet its aims and objectives. He revealed that over the past two years, the Japanese government through the Japanese Emergency Grant Aid has so far donated a number of medical items, generators, vehicles and other items costing over 1.6 million US dollars to the government of Sierra Leone.
He went on to say that earlier in March this year, he handed over four (4) vehicles and two (2) thermal cameras which are now serving the people of Sierra Leone at the Freetown Airport. He added that at the TICAD VI conference in Kenya last year, the Japan’s Cooperation in the health sector, especially in strengthening the health system resilience was introduced as one of three commitment pillars. He guaranteed that the twenty (20) Ambulances will contribute to that commitment and they will be a part of essential tools to strengthen the health system of Sierra Leone by supporting medical teams to curb any medical emergencies at all times.
The Deputy Minister of Health one (1) madam Madina Rahman receiving the twenty Ambulances on behalf of the government of Sierra Leone said that when His Excellency Ernest Bai Koroma made a public pronouncement that the Ebola Virus disease has entered the country, it was the Japanese government that first came in to assist with medical and other necessary tools in the fight of the disease. She assured all present that the donations of twenty (20) Ambulances are in safe hands and they will be utilized throughout the country to assist the health delivery system in the country especially in hard to reach areas. She added that although the Ebola Disease came in with lots of challenges but in the same vein it has its own opportunity. She went further by thanking the government and people of Japan for the support they have been giving to the people of Sierra Leone.
In the ceremony, the Acting Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Mrs. Sarian Kamara said that the government of Japan has been a close friend and an important partner of the government of Sierra Leone. She added that the support that the Japanese government gave to Sierra Leone has been critical in ending the outbreak. “Four utilities (Toyota Land Cruisers) arrived in March 2017, 20 ambulances arrived and today we are here to commission them and these 20 ambulances will contribute to improve our referral system and add to the pool of ambulances meant for the National Ambulation Service as part of the president ‘s Post Ebola Recovery priorities for the health sector and they will also help us to reach our objective to save 600 mothers and 5000 children by the end of the year,” she said.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.