The Indian Ambassador accredited to Liberia, Dinesh Bhatia, has donated 300 pieces of thermometers along with six bilateral scholarships to the Government and people of Liberia. The scholarships are for deserving Liberian students to undergo post-graduate studies in India.
The thermometers are to be distributed among needy institutions, including schools and health facilities, in order to prevent the spread of Ebola virus in the country.
Ambassador Bhatia, who is resident in La Côte d’Ivoire, made the donation Monday, July 6, when he paid a courtesy call on Foreign Minister, Augustine Ngafuan, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Presenting several cartons of thermometers to the Minister, a release from the Foreign Ministry said the Indian Envoy highlighted his government’s investment plan for Liberia. According to him, the plan targets assistance in power supply, agriculture, health and the transport sectors.
He also disclosed that India is to shortly dispatch a technical assessment team for the installation of modern laboratory equipment at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in order to enhance post-
Ebola health services at the nation’s largest referral hospital.
Moreover, the Ambassador stressed his country’s direct investment in the area of optional power supply to make electricity affordable for low income Liberians, who will also have the option to seek loans from India.
The Ambassador also indicated that investors from India would shortly import into the country technical equipment to boost the nation’s post-Ebola agriculture sector describing it as a new model. He added that Indian investors have been encouraged to come and invest in other sectors such as transport, health and oil.
The Ambassador called on Liberia to watch out for people, who he said are purporting as Indian nationals seeking visas to perpetrate their clandestine missions, something he warned could cause embarrassment for both Liberia and India.
The India envoy also urged Liberia to establish a diplomatic presence by reopening its Mission in New Delhi, India.
In response, Foreign Minister Ngafuan lauded the Government and people of India for the donation, including their contributions to Liberia’s Ebola crisis and its post-Ebola recovery drive.
“I am personally grateful to see you here. Ebola came and stopped our play-button of recovery. Ebola has gone and we have started re-playing our play-button of development,” he stated.
Minister Ngafuan stressed that though Liberia was declared Ebola-transmission free by the World Health Organization (WHO) in May, with the new outbreak, the country is developing its health capacity to deal with future outbreaks.
While acknowledging India’s intervention in Liberia, he stated that India is the first country to make donations following this third outbreak and it was among the first few countries to intervene initially in the Ebola crisis. He described India’s intervention as a catalyst for more support to the Ebola outbreak.
Min. Ngafuan, who is the Dean of the Cabinet, also assured Ambassador Bhatia that the donated thermometers would go a long way in cementing the cordial ties of friendship between both nations and peoples. He noted that Liberia is considering reopening its mission in that country.
The Minister also applauded the Indian Government for planning to intervene in the energy sector which is crucial and would help to address what he called “power deficit in Liberia.”
At the same time, he thanked India for the bilateral scholarships and support provided the JFK Medical Center and stated that the Indian assistance would enhance health services at the nation’s highest referral hospital.