Japan, one of Liberia’s post-conflict development partners, has brought in seven ambulances for the Government of Liberia to fight the Ebola Virus Disease.
The ambulances which cost more than US$400,000 arrived yesterday at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) on board a chartered cargo flight.
Assistant Foreign Minister for International Corporation, Dehpue Zue and Assistant Health Minister for Administration John N. Linga, were on hand to receive the ambulances on behalf of the Liberian Government.
Recognizing the role of Japan in Liberia’s economic development recovery, Assistant Minister Zue expressed gratitude to the Government of Japan and acknowledged that Japan has been very supportive of the Liberian Government in the fight against Ebola.
Assistant Health Minister Linga said the ambulances will be distributed among counties that are still lacking ambulances, describing the gesture as timely and welcomed.
He noted that “the donation by this technologically advanced country is coming when reports have emerged about the decline in cases of Ebola in Liberia. However, the fact also remains that the unavailability of ambulances in the country exacerbated the transmission of the disease as many died and their corpses remained for days in communities without burial or health teams reaching them,” said Mr. Linga.
Mr. Linga said it was also glaring that most health centers in Liberia lack ambulances thereby making it difficult to reach and pick up the sick in rural communities.
Although there are signs of improvement in the fight against Ebola, the Assistant Health Minister cautioned Liberians not to be complacent and disregard preventive measures they have been taught and are now practicing.
Japan is also donating six ambulances to Sierra Leone one of the other countries hardest hit by the Ebola virus.
This is not the first assistance Japan has given Liberia since the outbreak of Ebola. Japan earlier donated assorted medical items at the onset of the Ebola crisis.
Meanwhile, Japan has supported Liberia’s agriculture sector by importing rice to be sold and the proceeds used to purchase seeds for farmers.
Japan is also bringing to reality the construction of the Somalia Drive road for which it has provided US$50 million.