‘Friend in Need, Friend in Deed’

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President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has showered praises on the Government of the People’s Republic of China for what she described as taking the biggest move in the fight against Ebola.

Speaking while officially receiving the donation from the Chinese Ambassador to Liberia, President Sirleaf said the Chinese assistance goes one big extra mile, because it comes at a time when Liberians are facing truly what could be described as a “national tragedy.”

The Liberian leader said the donation is a very big boost in the fight against the virus in the country. “Today we have a big boost in what we are going to do, because what has come from China will enable us address some of the things that are being lacking in the fight. Some of such things include Personal Protection Equipment and instrument for judging the level of fever. These are now in good supplies. With that we are made stronger in our response. We are able to combat this in a bit more preparedness and readiness.”

She lauded the steadfastness and true friendship of the Chinese government who have, even in the middle of its own crises, thought it prudent to identify with Liberians and others at this critical time.

“China has always been a good partner to Liberia. We have bilateral programs that support many of our development endeavors including education, agriculture, health, justice and peace keeping. But this assistance that has come today goes one big extra mile, because it comes at a time when we are facing truly what could be described as a national tragedy,” she said.

She also noted: “Mr. Ambassador, I want you to convey to your President the appreciation of the government and people of Liberia and to re-assert our strong partnership, our solidarity even in your time of trouble when you are facing flood, you have stopped to recognize our need and have come to our assistance.”

She further stressed, “We have friends all over and many of our friends are helping, but we want to extend thanks and appreciation to all of our partners who are responding, but as I say, China has gone one step further, not only that it sent items that are so desperately needed, but it recognized the urgency of it and sent it directly on a plane so that we have access to it in this great time of need.”

While the Chinese gesture is quite joyous, President Sirleaf, however, said she is saddened by the fast pace at which the virus is spreading to other communities that were not previously affected. “And what this means is that our people are still not listening to the pieces of advice and instructions that are being given.”

China has not only talked the talk, which has been the case so far since what is known as the biggest outbreak of the Ebola virus in the Mano River Union (MRU) region, but has walked the walk with donation worth over US$1 million in anti-Ebola drugs equipment.

A Chinese cargo plane, on Monday, August 11, arrived in the country with a consignment of drugs, personal protective equipment, thermometers and sanitizers among others, to help support the Government of Liberia’s efforts in combating the deadly Ebola virus.

Chinese Ambassador, ZHANG Yue, quoting his country’s President Xi Jinping, said China and Africa are good brothers and partners and at this difficult moment, the Chinese people and government feel the pain and suffering of the Liberian people that’s why they urgently made the donation.

He noted that  as the Ebola virus spreads quickly and constituting great challenges to the country, china decided to once again respond quickly to the appeal of the World Health Organization (WHO) by providing this batch of emergency aid materials to meet the urgent need of the Liberian people.

The Chinese government is also poised to send three health experts to help provide the basic expertise and the training of local health workers on the uses of the donated assorted materials.

This comes at a time when the entire country is at a standstill and Liberians have no hope of how to combat the virus that has claimed the lives of about 500 people, while the world continues to watch and talk with no immediate concrete actions forthcoming.

The Chinese government has also boosted the fight against the Ebola virus in the MRU region with similar donations to Guinea and Sierra Leone worth US$3.3 million to help contain the epidemic.

The Ambassador further noted that Ebola should not be seen as a national or regional issue, but a global challenge. He called on the international community to work along with the affected countries deal with the epidemic

You cannot move from one community to another when there is a sign that you are affected. When you do that you put people, including your family members and friends, at risk. This disease can be attacked and in certain cases defeated if you follow the instructions. Please listen to save the life and lives of your families, friends and associates.

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