Freetown, Mar. 18, 2015 (MOHS) – The Centre for Disease Control Foundation (CDC) USA has handed over the newly constructed $4 Million Centre for Disease Control Complex to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation at a ceremony held on Wednesday March 18, 2015 at Cockril in Freetown.
The Centre which has the potential for future emergencies and disease outbreaks has the capacity to make Sierra Leone a model and future leaders of response around the globe.
Addressing the ceremony United States Ambassador to Sierra Leone, John Hoover told his audience that the ownership to CDC Foundation is over and now becomes the full property of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and the Sierra Leone government.
He reiterated the United States Government and CDC’s Foundation continued support in building the capacity of Sierra Leone to getting into zero Ebola infection as well as to tackle future disease outbreaks.
Ambassador Hoover described the gesture as the nucleus for Sierra Leone and an opportunity for the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to keep Sierra Leone and the entire region safe.
Making his remarks, the Director of Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Oliver Morgan said the United States CDC services would continue to support CDC Sierra Leone for a period between three and five years, and in the event would provide additional projects to support the National Laboratory in Lakka and all other Laboratories across the country.
The newly constructed Centre, he said has a training component, offices, operations emergency centre among other key facilities.
Responding, Health and Sanitation Minister, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah described the event as another milestone in the country’s bilateral relationship with the government and people of the United States.
The Minister commended the US Government for being among one of the first country to respond to President Koroma’s clarion call for international support as a result of the Ebola outbreak.
He enumerated contact tracing, surveillance, case management and social mobilization supports to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation by the US Government, and thanked the Defence Ministry for providing the site.
Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah on behalf of the President, the government and people of Sierra Leone expressed gratitude and appreciation to the United States Embassy and the United States Government for the gesture and enormous contributions in the fight to contain the Ebola virus disease in the country.
Other highlights of the ceremony included remarks on behalf of the Defence Ministry by the Chief of Defence Staff, Samuel Omarr Williams and a conducted tour of the facility led by the In-Charge, Public Health Emergency Management, Jennifer Brooks.
The full commissioning of the facility is expected to be done by His Excellency the President in April 2015.