The Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone H.E. Ambassador Hu Zhangliang has handed-over 200,000 vials of COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Sino-pharm, 201,600 pieces of syringes, 40,000 Novel Coronavirus Nucleic Acid Diagnostic Kits and 50,000 Novel Coronavirus Antigen Detection Kits donated by the Chinese government to Sierra Leone.
The donated items were presented on Wednesday 18th July to the Minister of Health and Sanitation Dr. Austin Demby at the Ministry’s conference room, Youyi Building, Freetown in the presence of WHO Country Director, Chairman of NaCOVERC Dr. Sheku. F. Bangura and other dignitaries, friends and representatives.
Ambassador Hu said that the donation is meant to further support Sierra Leone’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and it is one of China’s concrete actions in implementing the solemn commitments made by H.E. President Xi Jinping at the Virtual Opening of the 73rd World Health Assembly and the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity Against COVID-19.
“Since last year, the Chinese government and people have provided at least 13 rounds of donation to Sierra Leone for COVID-19 response. This vividly demonstrates the solid friendship between our two countries. The donated Chinese vaccine has been included into the WHO emergency use list. In China, over 1.9 billion doses of Chinese vaccine have been administered. The safety and efficacy of the Chinese vaccine has been proven by scientific data.”
Ambassador Hu pointed out that he firmly believed that the donation will help beef up Sierra Leone’s tenacious efforts in combating the pandemic and contribute to the final victory, as he has no doubt that the donated items will be taken good care of and put into good use as usual by the Sierra Leonean side.
Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Austin Demby on behalf of President Maada Bio, thanked China for the kind donation.
The Health minister highlighted that China is the most responsive country when Sierra Leone needs help and the vaccines provided by China are safe and efficacious.
He highlighted some of the timely intervention of China support to the health sector, as China is one of the most responsive when you need help, when you need help, timing of that response particularly epidemic, is so vital.
He emphasized that China did not only give them the vaccine, they actually gave them the delivery instruments, as vaccine without the delivery instrument is like giving you a car without a key for it.
“The vaccine is safe, the vaccine is efficacious and here in Sierra Leone we’ve seen the use throughout the country with very good results for which we are very happy.”
NaCOVERC Chairman Dr. Sheku F. Bangura expressed appreciation to the Chinese Government for such support. He said from what they are getting is preparing them for any possible fourth waves.
“So, these kits, are more critical for us to be on the cure to ensure that we have our response robust at it should be. We want to appreciate you very much for a timely expeditious response to the request, both from the Ministry of Health, and also through NaCOVERC to China, they are timely”.
Brief remark was made by the Director of Middle East and Asia in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Samai, who said they have been receiving donated items from China which they can attest to.
The Health Minister in turned presented the Vaccines to NaCOVERC after receiving it from Ambassador Hu. The signing of documents climaxed the ceremony.