Sime Darby Plantations Liberia (SDPL) has about 3.7 million pairs of personal protective hand gloves to help the Liberian Government’s fight against the deadly Ebola virus disease in the country. The hand gloves will help reduce the dire demand for personal protective equipments (PPEs) for frontline healthcare workers and their support staff fighting the Ebola virus.
Sime Darby, an investor in Liberia’s oil palm and rubber sectors, made the donation at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in Congo Town on Friday, November 7. Professor Boimah Sonii made the donation on behalf of Sime Darby and assured the government of his company’s preparedness to help sustain the fight against Ebola.
Liberia’s Vice President Joseph N. Boakai was on hand to receive the hand gloves loaded in three containers on behalf of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
The elated Vice President described the Malaysian investors as one of the companies that have made ‘substantial’ investments in Liberia.
Sime Darby is investing hundreds of millions of United Sates dollars in Liberia’s oil palm and rubber industries in the post-conflict economy.
Vice President Boakai, being aware of the risks taken by the company to invest here particularly in the oil palm sector, lauded the company and noted how it has remained committed and focused in its investment drive in the country despite the enormous challenges.
“Sime Darby is one of those companies that have made substantial investments in Liberia– in four of our counties of course they are just in two of those counties for now,” said Vice President Boakai.
“We are thankful for the contribution from them [Sime Darby] and of course much more is needed in the fight against Ebola and our [government] commitment to take our health sector to a new level.”
Vice President Boakai also thanked the Malaysian government for the partnership and support to the Liberian government.
For his part, Liberia’s Health and Social Welfare Minister, Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale, also thanked Sime Darby for the donation and said it is timely for the government and people of Liberia.
“These donations are timely and good for us because the demand for PPEs is too high,” said Dr. Gwenigale.
Minister Gwenigale immediately turned the containers over to Deputy Health Minister for Administration Mr. Matthew T. K. Flomo who expressed his gratitude to Sime Darby for the kind gesture.
“We are now fighting a twin battle,” said Mr. Flomo. “One of the battles is to defeat the Ebola virus and the other is to restore normal healthcare delivery across the country.”
According to Minister Flomo, the donation by Sime Darby will help the Ministry supply hand gloves to public hospitals in the 15 counties of Liberia.
He, however, noted that more PPEs including hand gloves are needed because health workers are required to immediately dispose of every pair of glove they use as they cater to a patient at a time. “We are more than happy to receive these gloves, but the fight against Ebola is not over yet and so the demand is very high,” Flomo added.
Few days ago, Sime Darby Management announced that it was bringing in three containers of hand gloves to help the government fight the Ebola virus.