28 August 2014

Sierra Leone: Ecobank, Standard Chartered & Others Boost Fight Ebola

Ecobank (SL) Limited on the 26th August, 2014 donated a cheque of Le225 million (Two Hundred and Twenty-Five Million Leones) equivalent to $50,000 (Fifty Thousand United States Dollars) to President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma as part of their contribution towards the fight against the Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the country.

The Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Clement Dodolo said that the donation is a way of empathizing and with the government for the unprecedented Ebola outbreak in the country. In his presentation, he furthered that the gesture is in the true spirit of Pan-Africanism and believes that the current Ebola outbreak is a fight for all, including the wider African continent. He also lauded containment measures put in place by government to stop the spread of the virus. In this regard, Mr. Dodolo suggested to President Koroma that the Sierra Leone Police should ensure both public and private vehicles are not overloaded as that will help to reduce the transmission of the disease.

The Ecobank MD said that they are in this fight because it affects every Sierra Leonean and it is threatening the heartbeat of the nation. He extended heartfelt condolences to government and the people of Sierra Leone for the loss of lives of medical officers who gave their lives whilst protecting others.

In a similar engagement, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of the Standard Chartered Bank, Mr. Albert R. Saltson on behalf of his institution presented a cheque of Le.150 million (One Hundred and Fifty Million Leones) to President Koroma as a way of complementing government's efforts in fighting the deadly virus, whilst commending the efforts of the government, Mr. Saltson stated that they will continue to take a close look at the situation on a daily basis.

In addition, the Country Manager of Cluff Gold together with the National Council of Imams and the Kono Diamond Dealers donated Forty Million Leones, Twenty Million Leones and Twenty-Five Million Leones respectively. Cluff Gold also donated a Toyota Landcruiser ambulance type vehicle with registration number AGD 644 to enhance the logistical needs of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation.

President Koroma thanked the contributors for their efforts in the fight against the war on Ebola especially at a moment like this in the country's history. He reaffirmed government's commitment in eradicating the Ebola menace, saying that all Sierra Leoneans must heed to the guidelines instituted and ensure that person to person transmission is drastically reduced and consequently eradicated.

The President also said that construction of a new treatment centre is ongoing at Kerry Town with plans underway to have another treatment center in the North, including the training of an additional five hundred (500) contact tracers, surveillance officers and burial teams that will be deployed as soon as possible. With the measures instituted so far, President Koroma expressed optimism that the situation will be contained soon.

He added that with heightened sensitization, the challenges of denial, ignorance and fear have reduced substantially, and emphasized the need for collaboration to win the fight against EVD.

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