Olympians Receive Presidential Accolade for #TargetEbola

25 | 1 | 2016

Olympians in Sierra Leone have received a special tribute for their efforts to help combat the deadly Ebola crisis which gripped West Africa in 2014 and 2015. The President of Sierra Leone has written a letter to the Sierra Leone Olympians Association personally thanking its president Francis Dove Edwin for the solidarity shown by his team during the country’s devastating outbreak.

The two-time Olympian, appointed a member of the Presidential task force to fight the spread of the virus in Sierra Leone, was instrumental in helping to establish the WOA’s #TargetEbola campaign, which saw vital medical equipment and other much needed supplies shipped to West Africa at the height of the crisis.

The consignments sent to Sierra Leone saw materials such as syringes, gauze, masks, gloves, thermometers, wheelchairs and mattresses, distributed to health institutions and medical workers fighting the disease around the country.

Francis Dove Edwin was on the ground in Sierra Leone for much of the crisis, helping to distribute #TargetEbola aid to the worst hit areas on behalf of the WOA.

 Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, said in his letter:

“The Ebola virus was unknown to our country; our health system and personnel were unprepared for it. Its ferocity and magnitude astounded the world. But your support gave us the courage to fight on. You were central to shaping the response.

“Together, we have put behind us one of the world’s most devastating pandemics. We owe this victory to the extraordinary support you provided to us during those very trying times.

“On behalf of the people of Sierra Leone, my government and my own name, I thank you and your staff for such support and solidarity.”

#TargetEbola was launched in October 2014 following a plea to the WOA from Francis Dove Edwin. As part of the campaign the WOA teamed up with international aid organisation Oxfam and US humanitarian NGO Medisend International to deliver the essential supplies to West Africa as part of its fundraising campaign.

You can view a copy of the full letter from the President of Sierra Leone Dr Ernest Bai Koroma to President of the Sierra Leone National Olympians Association Francis Dove Edwin below: