By Swaliho Vandi
GIZ is currently implementing the Regional Support Program co-funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the European Union. In Sierra Leone, the program is been implemented through the Technical Advisory to the National Coordination Institute and the Emergency Operations Center.
In his statement while handing over consignments worth over fifty thousand Euros to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, the German Ambassador to Sierra Leone Horst Gruner said the gesture was to support the implementation of government’s preparedness and response plan to covid19, while he added that it was prepared by the GIZ within its Regional Program Support to Pandemic Prevention in the ECOWAS Region. Speaking on the consignments handed over to the Health Ministry, Ambassador Horst said they handed over 5,884 litters of Alcohol Based Hand Rub, 500 megaphones and spear batteries, 400 thermometers and spear batteries and the sum of One Million Two Hundred Thousand Leones (SLL 1,200,000) worth of mobile phone credits.
He continued that apart from the consignments handed over to the Health Ministry, the Regional Program had supported the development of Risk Communication Application through a Hackathon competition; trained about 45 journalists and health sectorial department communication officers on risk communication, organized Focus Group Discussions in 9 districts targeting 270 community members on Risk Communication.
He ended by stating that the program will provide further support to the Health Ministry including 6,000 additional litters of Alcohol Based Hand Rub, 16 laptop computers and 12 desktop computers.
GIZ’s Technical Adviser to the National Coordination Institute and the Emergency Operations Center Dr. Amadou Traore said the support is to enable the health ministry to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the healthcare setting as well as at treatment centers across the country. He therefore called on authorities concern to utilize the items for their intended purposes. He said the items it utilized accordingly, will ensure that the targeted outcomes and impact of their initiative are met.
Receiving the consignments on behalf of the Health Ministry, the Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation 2, Dr. Amara Jambai thanked GIZ for their continued support to Sierra Leone. He said the consignments came at the right time and will go a long way in preventing further spread of the coronavirus in the country.