Belgian Trade Pre-Mission visit Connaught Hospital

Freetown, Jan. 20, 2016 (MOHS) – A high powered Belgian Trade Pre-Mission to Sierra Leone, led by the Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, Mr. Pieter De Crem has visited the Connaught hospital for possible support to the institution.

belgianL-R: Deputy Health Minister, Madam Madina Rahman, fourth from left, Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, Mr. Pieter de Crem and team on a conducted tour to the hospital

The team which comprises officials from Belgian Government, Belgian companies, representatives from Africa and media visited the Ebola trial vaccine unit, the screening facility for the patients as well as triage and isolation facilities and Dialysis unit of the hospital.

Speaking on behalf of the delegation, the Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, Mr. Pieter De Crem said the Federal Government of Belgium Foreign Trade supported Sierra Leone a lot when they were hit by the Ebola crisis through their airline company.

belgian1Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, Mr. Pieter De Crem

He said as a company they are in Sierra Leone to see how they can invest in the country with a view to contribute to the revitalization of the country’s economy.

The Secretary of State for Foreign Trade stated that the delegation were in the hospital to identify themselves with challenges posed by the Ebola virus and pledged their support in complimenting Government’s effort to eradicate the disease.

belgian2A group photo of Ministry officials and the visiting Belgian delegation

Briefing his audience, James Lange, from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the Ebola Vaccine, STRIVE Unit established in the country has three rooms in which the volunteer go through to receive the vaccine, adding that the first room is meant for volunteers to declare their intentions to take the vaccine while the second room is reserved for the administration of the vaccine.  The third aspect, he said is the handing over of incentives (Cash and Mobile phones). He assured that volunteers are quick to recover from reaction brought about by the vaccine, followed by close monitoring to address further reactions.

At the Dialysis Unit, the Kidney Disease Specialist, Dr. Soccoh Kabia also briefed the team about the operations of the Unit, the challenges and appealed for support for an effective and efficient Dialysis Unit that would cater for the people of the country.

belgian3Dr. Soccoh Kabia briefing the visiting team at the Dialysis Unit

Speaking on behalf of the Health Ministry, the Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation II, Madam Madina Rahman described the visit of the Belgian delegation to the Connaught hospital as timely and an opportunity address possible area of assistance.

belgian4Deputy Health and Sanitation Minister II, Madam Madina Rahman

She commended the Belgian Airline for their support throughout the Ebola outbreak in the country, adding that their visit to the hospital would help rebuild and strengthen the waste management and health sector of her ministry. She disclosed that the Health Ministry will present a proposal to the Belgian delegation geared towards building the human resource of the Ministry.

KK/AS/MOHS/SLENA