(L-R) Dr. Yasuhiro Yamamoto and Min. Marjon V. Kamara
The Liberian Government and the Japanese Ebola Counter measure Medical Group (JECM) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) under which the parties have committed themselves to working exclusively together to establish a world-class, state-of-the-art Center for Detection of Infectious Diseases, with special emphasis on the Ebola Virus Disease.
Foreign Minister Marjon V. Kamara signed on behalf of Government while the Executive Director of the JECM Group, Dr. Yasuhiro Yamamoto, signed for his Group on Thursday. In brief remarks after signing the MOU, Liberia’s Foreign Minister thanked the Japanese Group for the hectic and productive engagements with the Liberian Government especially the discussions they held with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf prior to signing the MOU.
The Foreign Minister particular praised the Japanese team for honoring the President’s invitation to come to Liberia to build a collaboration with Liberian medical professionals. She also paid a special tribute to the country’s Ambassador accredited to Japan, Her Excellency Ms. Youngor Telewoda for her farsightedness and for the level of engagement and collaboration to bring the Japanese medical specialists to Liberia for such a meaningful and technical venture that would enhance the Ebola recovery process.
For his part, Dr. Yasuhiro Yamamoto, who is also the Executive Director of the Japanese Association of Medical Logistics for Disaster, thanked the Liberian Government for the productive engagements with health officials and other stakeholders since their arrival and up to the signing of the MOU.
He applauded Foreign Minister Kamara and Liberian health officials for the cooperation and pledged to work with them to fulfill their side of the MOU. Under the MOU, the Japanese have committed to provide high standard methods of early detection, care, training and research under the guidance of scientific methods, well established and highly recommended by the Japanese Scientific and Medical Technology Societies, closely working with the JECM.
The JECM will provide, exhaustively explain and submit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs comprehensive documents on the medical technology of the highest standards to prevent occurrences and re-occurrences of the deadly outbreak of the infectious diseases, including Ebola.
The parties also agreed that the cooperation between the JECM Group and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs be strengthened to focus on specific key elements including: development of infrastructure for the National Public Health Institute; provision of medical logistics; the establishment of a National Public Health Reference Laboratory; and human resource capacity building, focusing on training in the following areas: disaster response and pandemics preparedness; infectious diseases specialists; emergency medicine specialists; and public health specialists in epidemiology, virology emergency preparedness, and research methodology.
Under the MOU, the JECM Group and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will also focus on laboratory specialists in support to National Reference Laboratory, bio bank and blood safety; emergency medical services (EMS); emergency medical education; and establishing an exchange program between Liberian and Japanese specialists to engage in learning research and training.