Sierra Leone Deputy Minister of Health Visits Direct Relief, Joins Ebola Innovation Summit
SANTA BARBARA, Calif., April 19, 2015 – Sierra Leone’s Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation, Madina Rahman, and Abdul Jalloh, Executive Director of Sierra Leone-based Medical Research Centre, today concluded a four-day visit to Direct Relief’s California headquarters to discuss emerging priorities and plan sustained interventions as Ebola cases wane and recovery efforts accelerate.
Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone have reported a total of 25, 791 Ebola cases since the outbreak began last year, with more than 10,600 deaths reported.
During the visit, the Deputy Minister and Mr. Jalloh outlined the key priorities for strengthening Sierra Leone’s health system. These include ensuring that medical facilities are properly equipped with supplies and staff, that medical professionals have the training and tools they need to effectively care for patients, and that the public’s trust in the health system is reestablished and maintained.
To date, Direct Relief has supplied more than 500 health facilities in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone with more than $26 million worth (wholesale) of emergency medical aid in coordination with local partnerships. This includes 4.8 million gloves, 22.8 million defined daily doses of essential medicines, and 240,000 gowns and coveralls, among other aid items.
“Were it not for Direct Relief, their timely intervention, and all the support from their donors, we would not be where we are today,” said Deputy Minister Rahman. “We would have lost more lives than we have lost.”
The Deputy Minister’s visit precedes the Ebola Innovation Summit in San Francisco on Tuesday, April 21. Hosted by Paul Allen and the Skoll Global Threats Fund, attendees include a mix of tech giants such as Google, household brands such as J&J, and global organizations such as the Gates Foundation and Direct Relief.
Alongside the United Nations, African Union, and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Deputy Minister Ramahn will open the event with a discussion of lessons learned and an appraisal of the current situation in her country.
“No one has a better understanding of the ongoing health needs than those who live in the countries recovering from the virus, said Thomas Tighe, Direct Relief CEO. “It is an honor to host Deputy Minister Rahman and Mr. Jalloh. Their partnership and insights are invaluable and serve as the basis for Direct Relief’s work.
Direct Relief is able to provide immediate assistance to our partners only because of the generous donations of medicines, medical supplies and/or financial support from our corporate donors. If you are interested in supporting Direct Reliefs emergency prep and response programs, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Patricia E. Bacuros
Director, Philanthropic Investment
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