|“Together We Will Win This Fight” President Koroma Tells U.S Envoy|
By State House Communications Unit
The United States Embassy in Freetown on Wednesday 10th September 2014 presented five new well equipped ambulances to President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma at State House to help boost the logistical needs of the government in the fight against Ebola.
Receiving keys to the ambulances, President Koroma told the US Embassy Charge D’Affaires, Kathleen Fitzgibbon that “Together we will win this fight”. The five ambulances are loan donation to the government and people of Sierra Leone to aid the fight against EVD.
President Koroma described the gesture as timely as the ambulances will play a critical aspect in the fight against Ebola. Whilst calling for effective collaboration, the President called for more equipment, required expertise and participation to enhance a robust approach in this fight. He stated that government will continue to intensify contact tracing, surveillance & monitoring and social mobilization.
“Our circumstance has been different and therefore it requires additional centres and measures and we are encouraged by this support because it is coming in at the right time,” President Koroma said.
Even though the country is facing challenges in containing the outbreak, the President went further to state that this support and the efforts of government so far will be of immense help to the national effort in halting the spread of the deadly virus. President Koroma also said that the ambulances will be positioned in strategic locations all around the country. He continued that government will step up facilities and logistical support to respond quickly to the needs of holding and treatment centers across the country. He therefore called on the international community to provide the needed expertise and logistical support in the fight against Ebola.
“I am still of the view that by December we will be back to normal situation. When I last spoke to President Obama I was encouraged by his assurances which had been reflected by the intervention of the CDC team,” he said, and reassured the US diplomat that the ambulances will be returned to the company immediately after the exercise.
Handing over keys to the five ambulances, the Charged D’Affaires informed President Koroma that the ambulances are well equipped with oxygen tanks and other related materials.
In earlier remarks before the presentation of the vehicles, Madam Kathleen Fitzgibbon said the presentation was as a result of the request made by government to the US Embassy that was why they requested for five ambulances from Pacific Architects and Engineers (PAE) to help ameliorate the situation.
Ms Fitzgibbon disclosed that the work of the Presidential Taskforce also allows them to better target how the disease is transmitting itself, whilst informing President Koroma that the Department of Defence is also supporting with personal protective equipment (PPEs), laboratory support and funds had been disbursed to UNICEF for social mobilization.
She also noted that thirty personnel from the Centre for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) are already in the country to better target the centres and closely monitor how the disease is spread. She commended the bold measures of President Koroma in containing the virus. As they have been part of the public awareness of the disease, Madam Fitzgibbon said that the provision of personal protective equipment (PPEs), resources for treatment, clinical care and social mobilization will also form part of their efforts to help the government tackle the outbreak.
Kathleen Fitzgibbon said that the CDC and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation will be working closely as they will be monitoring the house to house checks with a clear analysis of how the disease is spreading.
Want to know more about EBOLA?