The Government of Sierra Leone and the Government of the Peoples’ Republic of China have signed and exchange of letters for the construction of the West African Tropical Disease Research and Treatment Centre at Jui at a ceremony held on Tuesday July 10, 2018 at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation Conference hall, Youyi Building in Freetown.
In his statement the Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone, Mr. Zhang Xveqian said the project is not only to increase Sierra Leone’s capability of the West African Tropical Disease Research and Treatment Centre, but will increase the bilateral relationship between China and Sierra Leone as it is a symbolic project.
He assured that after the completion of the project, it will bring benefit to the people of Sierra Leone and it will continue to strengthen the relationship between the two countries.
Signing on behalf of Government of Sierra Leone, the Minister of Finance, Jacob Jusu Saffa said the project constitute one of the priorities of the New Direction, adding that where the Finance Ministry cannot do it but if partners come to do it, is a welcome idea.
He stated that in the New Direction, they see China coming very strongly in their three key priority areas including health and education, adding that recently they constructed the infectious disease centre at the 34 Military hospital.
The Finance Minister re-affirmed his Ministry’s support to the health sector, and thanked China for their support to Sierra Leone.
The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Nimatulai Bah-Chang said their role is to strengthen the bilateral relationship between China and Sierra Leone that has existed for over four decades mainly in terms of economic and technical cooperation.
She said the country has received lot of supports from the People’s Republic of China in so many areas especially with regards to the health sector and other areas. She added that the Ministry does appreciate the cooperation they received during the country’s Ebola outbreak and all the infrastructural development that they are enjoying through the People’s Republic of China and other areas
The Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Alpha Wurie said it is now clear that for them to be able to achieve the universal health coverage they need to start to address the issues from the peripheral health units from the chiefdom level. He added that the disease mix that they seem to expose is not changing but they need to do something get a clear understanding to help address these issues.
Therefore, he said the Tropical Disease Centre would be vital to the people of Sierra Leone and thank the people of China for considering this project. He said the issue of the building of the Ministry of Health is another spice in the cake because it would improve and bring the whole health team together.
Witness at the signing ceremony was the Senior Permanent Secretary, Mr. David Banya and the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Brima Kargbo.