Last week, during a state visit to Israel, the President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koromo, praised Israel’s support in fighting Ebola as well as the longstanding friendship and support Israel has given his nations over the decades.
“I must use this opportunity to thank you, the Government and the people of Israel, for the support that was provided to us during one of the most difficult moments in our history – the fight against Ebola,” President Ernest Bai Koroma said last Thursday.
“It is only a friend will support a friend that is in need and the Sierra Leonean people are most grateful for that.”
Later on the President said, “It was a moment others chose to turn their backs and isolate us, but Israel provided us with support, with financial, technical support, and we had people that volunteered to go out and assist us….That we have put the Ebola behind us is because of the support of this nation. Support that will always be remembered by Sierra Leoneans.”
“We, like the rest of the world, watched with concern the great battle that you fought against Ebola.”, Prime Minister Netanyahu said. “I thought that it was important that Israel send assistance.”
Netanyahu noted, “the most important thing is that you have contained this disease and you’re overcoming it, and we know what a great battle that was and what a burden it still is – the residual effects.”
During the 2014 Ebola outbreak, Israel sent doctors and a field hospital to Sierra Leone to help the African nation fight the deadly disease. It was also an Israeli company who made the breakthroughs which led to the current treatments for Ebola.
Additionally, in 2014, Dr. David Navarro, Special UN Envoy for Ebola said that Israel’s contributions to the UN’s ‘Ebola Response Multi-Partner Trust Fund” (MPTF) put Israel as the 6th largest contributor to fighting Ebola, and the first per capita.
The World Health Organisation declared on 7 November 2015 that Sierra Leone was Ebola free, in a large part thanks to Israel.
You can watch the full press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Ernest Bar Koromo below: