135 European and other foreign visitors flown out of Sierra Leone

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Sierra Leone Telegraph: 6 April 2020:

A special chartered flight from Brussels last night landed at the Lungi international airport in Freetown, carrying vital medicines and medical supplies valued at $130.000.

The cargo weighs about 18 tons and contains critical medical products procured by UNICEF on behalf of the country’s Ministry of Health and Sanitation in support of the government’s Free Health Care Initiative (FHCI).

The Government of Sierra Leone introduced the FHCI in 2010 to allow pregnant women, lactating mothers, and children under five years of age to receive essential treatment and medicines at no cost.

To date, the FHCI has been supported by several donors, including UK Aid, the European Union, USAID and others.

The chartered flight also contained a World Health Organisation consignment of 140 litres of glycerol – one of the ingredients needed for producing alcohol-based hand rub, currently not available on the local market, for the prevention of infections.

After unloading its cargo, last night’s specially arranged Brussels flight to Sierra Leone, collected 135 European tourists and foreign expatriates – many of whom were left stranded in Freetown, after the government of Sierra Leone announced the closure of the country’s airspace to commercial flights.