The Clinton Global Initiative has donated 100 tons of emergency medical aid to Liberia and Sierra Leone at a value of 5.9 million United States Dollars.
The total cargo of 370 pallets will be distributed among the Ministries of Health, National Drug Services, and partner organizations in both countries as well as to the US Centers for Disease Control offices in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
According to a dispatch from the Liberian Mission in New York, the items in the Clinton Global Initiative’s donation include 2.8 million surgical and exam gloves, 170,000 coverall gowns, 120,000 masks, 40,000 liters of pre-mixed oral rehydration solution and 9.8 million defined daily doses of essential medications (generic).
The quantities of personal protective equipment (gloves, gowns, masks) included on the flight are sufficient to supply 280 health workers for one year, based on the current requirements and utilization estimates developed in Liberia.
A ceremony to mark the shipment of the emergency medical items was held on Saturday, September 20,2014 at the John F. Kennedy International Airport and was attended by high-level dignitaries from both Liberia and Sierra Leone including Foreign Minister Augustine KpeheNgafuan and Liberia’s Ambassador accredited to the United States Jeremiah Sulunteh.
Making brief remarks during the ceremony, Foreign Minister Ngafuan thanked the Clinton Global Initiative and Direct Relief on behalf of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the people of Liberia. He noted that the airlift of critically needed items to Liberia and Sierra Leone (the biggest airlift undertaken by Direct Relief since its founding years ago) will certainly translate into the saving of precious lives.
He said that the lack of adequate protective equipment has been one of the causes of the death of many health care workers in Liberia; and as such, the huge donation will help in no small way to restore confidence in health care workers and the entire health system.
Describing the Ebola Virus Disease as a threat to humankind, Minister Ngafuan called on the global community, especially the private sector of the world to step up and join governments, and international NGOs in taking “bigger, bolder and speedy action” to contain the disease.
The coordination of the shipment (flight) is under the auspices of Direct Relief, a non-profit humanitarian aid organization that provides medical assistance to people around the world who have been affected by poverty, natural disasters, and civil unrest.
The dispatch disclosed that all of the products included in the cargo, which is expected to arrive in Liberia on Sunday, September 21, 2014, have the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) formulation and was approved for importation by the respective countries.
Direct Relief has made previous deliveries of 600,000 gloves (300,000 pairs) on four prior air shipments sent by commercial air cargo in July and August (two shipments each to Liberia and Sierra Leone.) In addition, 800,000 gloves (400,000 pairs) were shipped by ocean freight two weeks ago and are enroute.
The gloves are in a 40-foot container, two containers each for Liberia and Sierra Leone and are scheduled to arrive on October 16 in Monrovia and Freetown, respectively.
In a related development, a US -based Non Profit Organization, Good Samaritan Movement has donated a check valued at one thousand Dollars( $1000) and several items of medical supplies to the Government of Liberia to be used in the fight against Ebola.
The items which include disinfectants, hand Sanitizers, bleach, Biohazard bags, among others, were presented to the Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan at the Liberian Consulate in New York on Friday, September 19, 2014.
Making the donation, Pastor Nana Frimpong Agyemang said that it was his organization’s way of identifying with the people of Liberia in this difficult time as the nation is faced with the worst crisis since the end of the civil war.
He prayed that God will alleviate the sufferings of the Liberian people and other countries that have been affected by the Ebola crisis. He explained that the Good Samarian Movement was established to help those in need, especially in the third-world countries with the mission to reach out to less fortunate such as orphans , widows and people with special medical needs.
Receiving the donation on behalf of the Government, Foreign Minister Ngafuan expressed appreciation to the Good Samaritan for the humanitarian gesture and promised to convey the sentiment expressed by the Group to the people and the Government of Liberia.
He noted that while the friendly nations were forthcoming with big donations, the assistance from individuals and philanthropic organizations were equally appreciated because they all can help in varying ways to boost the fight against the deadly disease.
He said if a donation helps to prevent even one more Liberian from dying from Ebola, that donation is a big donation because every Liberian life is precious. Minister Ngafuan expressed thanks to the staff of the Liberian Consulate in New York for helping to coordinate and organized the event.