ArcelorMittal Gives Liberia its First Two Ventilators

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ArcelorMittal's Marcus Wleh presents the ventilators to Health Minister Wilhemina Jallah

— Donates ventilators, other equipment worth over US$85K to Liberian government to combat Covid-19

ArcelorMittal Liberia continues to contribute materially, through huge financial commitments, to Liberia’s fight against the spread of COVID-19 as the country battles to contain the virus. Notable among the mining giant’s assistance to the country so far is the provision of two sets of the “acclaimed” ventilators, medical equipment that is deemed essential in the fight against the virus — which Liberia has lacked until now.

“Let the news go forth that we now have ventilators in the country,” Minister of Health, Wilhelmina Jallah, said at a brief presentation ceremony over the weekend at the ministry.

“We want to be thankful to all of you who have been engaging us to see what we need and been coming back faithfully to give us what we have asked for,” the Health Minister said.

“We want to say a big thank you for our non-invasive ventilator. I want the news to carry that everyday people asking for ventilators. And so far we have not needed it for any patient.

“But since this is a non-invasive type, we will probably use it if a patient has severe respiratory problem. We will be able to cut down on the huge number of oxygen tanks that we are to use for a case because we can use this ventilator in its place to help our patients,” she added.

Officials of Ministry of Health inspecting the ventilator

There is a biomedical technician in country that has been tasked to take care of the ventilators.

“And so this is a great day along with the others we have received. It is good to receive one that is already setup by our able-body technician, because everybody wants to know whether we in Liberia who can assemble dissemble this piece of equipment and look after it,” the Minister stated.

The equipment was presented by AML Head of Government Affairs, Marcus Wleh, on behalf of the company at the Ministry in Congo Town.

In addition to the two ventilators, other equipment and supplies donated by ArcelorMittal Liberia include Coveralls and gowns (360 pieces), thermometers (infrared, 50 pieces), N-95 respiratory face masks (480 pieces), face shield (500 pieces) and Simple Du Pont Hoods (100 pieces). The AML official stated that some of the equipment are still at the Free Port of Monrovia and will be presented to the ministry once freed.

Wleh, who was accompanied by Eric Swen, Manager of Corporate Responsibility at AML, said, “I bring greetings from Mr. Scott Lowe, our soon-to-be Manager. The AML family asked us to bring these items for delivery.”

Mr. Wleh said that the donation was the third round from the company—bringing to a total donation to the ministry worth US$186,000.

“This donation brings our donation to US$186,000, not counting intangibles. This is the first batch of the third quarter of donation, so as we clear the shipment from the port, we will bring other items,” Wleh told the Minister.

It may be recalled that recently the company made an initial US$100,000 in-kind contribution to the government through MoH and NPHIL to procure essential medical supplies to combat the COVID-19.

Wleh also acknowledged that as a company, they place high importance on the health, safety and wellbeing of workforce and the public, stressing that ArcelorMittal Liberia has been proactive and a key player in the fight against the Coronavirus.

The company has already implemented extensive measures to protect workers and their families against the virus, according to a recent statement.

As a major investor in the country’s private sector, AML pledged to contribute significantly with medical supplies that would help the government curb the outbreak.

The company is also urgently seeking to procure medical equipment for its own hospitals. Although this is proving to be very challenging given the global shortage of such equipment, it will continue its efforts to secure the equipment as soon as possible, for the benefit of Liberians.

In a letter to the Minister of Health, Scott Lowe, CEO of ArcelorMittal Liberia, wrote that the company is working in close coordination with designated health and security authorities at all levels of the Government of Liberia to ensure the safety of its staff and the communities where they work and live.

ArcelorMittal Liberia continues to closely monitor the outbreak of COVID-19 and has, first and foremost, instituted an extensive range of measures to protect its people. It is also working to ensure business and operational continuity and is actively collaborating with all its stakeholders as the world faces this public health crisis.

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