Ambassador Bockari Stevens receives Mercy Ship delegation
Washington D.C. Feb 1, 2011 The Ambassador of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the United States, His Excellency Bockari Kortu Stevens received an eight-man delegation from the Mercy Ship at the Embassy’s 1701 19th Street Washington DC premises. (Group photo)
The President of Mercy Ship, Donald K. Stephens, briefed the Ambassador on the pending arrival on February 25th 2011, of the new Mercy Ship into the port of Freetown, where it will berth for 10 months to serve the medical needs of the people of Sierra Leone. He informed that the new ship, equipped with six operating rooms and eighty beds will also provide capacity building and training to Health Care professionals in Sierra Leone.
Responding Ambassador Stevens thanked the President and Board members of Mercy Ship for their complimentary role in efforts to improve on the health care delivery system in Sierra Leone. He noted that the Government of Sierra Leone is making great strides in addressing the challenges of the health sector and informed that free health care services were now being delivered to lactating mothers, pregnant women and children under five. Among other issues, the Ambassador briefed the delegation on the notable progress made by the Government in Energy, Infrastructure, and Agriculture.
Among the Board of Directors present was Ms. Rosa Whitaker, President of the Whitaker Group, a consultancy specializing in trade and investment in Africa, who congratulated Sierra Leone for its new image which she said was gaining recognition and accolades in Washington D.C. She pointed out that it was the result of the diligent work and good governance of President Koroma and also of the proactive role of Ambassador Stevens who understood and articulated the issues well for Sierra Leone in Washington. Ms. Whitaker previously served as the first Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa in the administration of President George W. Bush and is credited with developing and implementing the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
The courtesy call climaxed with a presentation of a gift from the Mercy Ship to the People of Sierra Leone, a replica of a painting of the current and past vessels that have served the Mercy Ship’s charitable purpose. Ambassador Stevens thanked Mercy Ship on behalf of the President, Government and People of Sierra Leone, for the symbolic gift and also for the tremendous service the charitable organization has been rendering in Sierra Leone that has had profound impact on the lives of many Sierra Leoneans.
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