In an effort to buttress the fight against the Ebola virus disease now ravaging the sub-region, the Association of Indian Community in Liberia has donated assorted anti-Ebola related items worth more than US$200,000 to the National Task Force on Ebola.
According to an Executive Mansion release, at the presentation ceremony at the General Services Agency (GSA) compound on UN Drive, the Honorary Consul General of India Upjit Sachdeva said the Indian Community, as one of several communities, sees itself as an important stakeholder in the Liberian society.
"As one of the communities in Liberia, we too are affected by the disease. However, we see it as our bounding duty and responsibility to contribute our quota to the fight to eliminate the disease in our second home, Liberia," he said.
Mr. Sachdeva said the enormity of the outbreak of the Ebola disease in Liberia, and three other West African countries - Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria - has made fighting the epidemic a global challenge, requiring an effective global response and so far the response by the international community to combat the disease is very encouraging.
"We note with satisfaction the measures put into place by the Government of Liberia to stop the spread of the deadly disease," he said, advising members of the Indian community to abide these measures.
According to the Indian Honorary Consul General, he has advised members of the Association that despite the economic consequences on the business community, they must not exploit this situation by unnecessarily hiking prices. "Today, we are pleased to say that they are in solidarity with the Liberian Government and people by being concerned about this outbreak and have vowed to do all they can to curtail this virus," he told President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, chair of the National Task Force on Ebola.
Among the items donated to the National Task Force on Ebola were two ambulances (one with 14-16 seats and one without seats), 2000 bags of rice, 100 hospital bed mattresses, 50 hospital folding beds, 24,000 bottles of water, 75,000 pouches of detergent soap, 2,000 bucket, 12,000 plates, amongst other items.
Mr. Sachdeva, also on behalf of the Indian Community, turned over the former Medicines Sans Frontiers (MSF) Hospital owned by the India Community for use by the government in its fight against the Ebola virus disease.
The Community offered to provide materials for the renovation and promised to complete the renovation in a month with the GSA providing manpower.
President Sirleaf, in response, praised the India Community in Liberia, terming them as "a true partner to the people of Liberia".
She said the contribution of the Indian community living in Liberia has always been of huge benefit to country especially in the areas of reconstruction and investment as evident by their role as dealers in construction hardware.
The Liberia leader used the time to call on others especially Liberians to emulate the good example of the Indian community. "It is easy to put a microphone to your mouth to criticize, but it is good to play your part in this fight as the Indians in Liberia have done and when the battle is won, it's won for self and country thereby allowing everyone to return to their normal activities," President Sirleaf said.
In a related development, President Sirleaf has taken delivery of a Land Cruiser Ambulance donated by Ecobank-Liberia for use to fight the Ebola virus disease.
Receiving the ambulance, the Liberian leader thanked the Bank for the donation as it came when the country is seriously in need of such donation to support its Ebola fight.
Turning the vehicle to the Coordinator of the Task Force team, Mr. Dorbor Jallah, President Sirleaf instructed him to ensure that all items received today are immediately put into use.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Board of Ecobank-Liberia, Mrs. Clavenda Bright- Parker, said the donation was a demonstration of the bank's social responsibility to the Liberia people and pledged the bank's support to the Liberia people in its challenge to fight the Ebola virus.