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Joint United Nations–34 Military Hospital COVID-19 Treatment Centre Commissioned

Freetown, Sierra Leone, 29 May 2020  The United Nations in Sierra Leone has successfully constructed and handed over a specialized COVID-19 treatment centre at the 34 Military Hospital to the Government of Sierra Leone as part of the United Nations support to the national COVID-19 efforts.            `              

The 13-bed treatment centre, which was commissioned on 28 May 2020 by the United Nations and the Government of Sierra Leone, represents shared efforts between the United Nations agencies in Sierra Leone, national authorities and the 34 Military Hospital.

UNFPA provided the overall coordination, technical leadership and funding for the construction of the specialized treatment centre, with the construction alone costing approximately USD$ 120,000.  The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) led the way in developing a Memorandum of Understanding with the 34 Military Hospital; World Food Programme (WFP) provided technical leadership in the design and on-the-ground execution of the project, and also provided the huge ‘Rubb Hall’ tent under which the facility was constructed; The World Health Organization (WHO) provided technical guidance to ensure adherence to quality standards; and the Health Manager of the United Nations Joint Medical Services provided on-site technical support throughout the process.

In his statement at the commissioning, the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Sunil Saigal said, “This treatment centre is just one part of the United Nations support to the COVID-19 preparedness and response efforts in Sierra Leone.  In addition to the public health response, we are also supporting, together with many other partners, food and nutrition, water and sanitation and socio-economic recovery.  The last part covers work in many different sectors to help mitigate the negative impact of the pandemic and to allow society to recover from the pandemic to build back better.”

Further, Sunil Saigal added, “While we are still refining our figures, we initially estimate the collective United Nations Response at over USD$150 million. This amount includes activities and resources within the existing United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework, which we have been able to rapidly realign, as well as funding being requested under the COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan.”

Speaking at the event, the Country Director of DFID, Kobi Bentley, remarked that, “DFID is pleased to have played a role in establishing this treatment centre here at Military 34 hospital.  As the world faces the unprecedented challenge of coronavirus, we must work together.  In addition to over £760 million of UK aid made available to global response instruments, including £10 million to UNFPA, the UK continues to support the Sierra Leonean health system.  We will help to maintain vital health services and to tackle coronavirus through the Saving Lives in Sierra Leone programme and our partnership with the Government of Sierra Leone and the UN. The UK stands with Sierra Leone in these difficult times.”

 

The treatment centre is just one part of the UN support to the COVID-19 preparedness and response efforts in Sierra Leone
The treatment centre is just one part of the UN support to the COVID-19 preparedness and response efforts in Sierra Leone

 

About the United Nations Population Fund

UNFPA is the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency. Our mission is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled.

 

For more information, please contact:

Angelique Reid, UNFPA Sierra Leone, Communication Specialist

Email: areid@unfpa.org

 

John Baimba Sesay, UNFPA Sierra Leone, Web and Media Analyst

Email: jsesay@unfpa.org Tel: +232 30953193/ +23279369395