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H.E. President Koroma Visits Chinese Hospital Ship Ark Peace

His Excellency, President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma visited the Hospital Ship of Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, Ark Peace, on 25th September, 2017, accompanied by Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Samura Kamara, Hon. Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Abubakarr Fofanah, Hon. Minister of Transport and Aviation, Mr. Leonard Balogun Koroma, Hon. Minister of Internal Affairs, Major(RTD) Alfred Palo Conteh, Hon. Deputy Minister of Defence Capt(RTD)Abdul Rahman Kamara and Chief of Defence Staffs Lt. Gen. John E. Milton and so on.

The Hospital Ship held a grand ceremony to welcome the visit of President Koroma. Under the guidance of the Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone H.E. WU Peng and the Rear Admiral General Guan Bailin, H.E. President Koroma visited the different medical areas of the Hospital Ship, communicated with the medical crews and patients.

Rear Admiral General Guan Bailin while briefing President Koroma about their mission said the ship was built in 2008 and has visited 32 countries. It was the first time that Ark Peace and also a Chinese Navy Vessel visiting Sierra Leone. Its visit was a clear demonstration of the good relationship between the two countries. He told President Koroma that up to the morning of 25th September, Ark Peace has treated 7152 patients and operated 51 surgeries in Sierra Leone.

Ambassador WU also told President Koroma that, medical staffs of the ship have been working day and night to attend to patients with the free medical services, but the demand from the public was so huge. China would continue to support and work with Sierra Leone side within its capacity to mobilize resources to invest in the health care system in the country.

H.E. President Koroma particularly thanked his counterpart Chinese President H.E. Xi Jinping and Chinese government for including Sierra Leone in the mission list of the ship which was to benefit from the free medical services. He noted that the Hospital Ship were coming at a time the country has just experienced a tragic mudslide and flooding disaster when many victims urgently needed medical services. He pointed out that the timely, selfless and generous assistances of China during the two horrific moments of Ebola outbreak and the mudslide disaster showed that China was a truly dependable friend of Sierra Leone.

Before the disembarkation, President Koroma wrote in the message book of the Hospital Ship, Peace Ark brings hope for the people and new life for the patients of Sierra Leone! Long live Sierra Leone-China friendship!

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