IOC President praises Sierra Leone NOC for quick action in fight against Ebola

Lausanne, Nov 7, 2014: International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach today met Dr Patrick Coker, the President of the Sierra Leone National Olympic Committee (NOC), to discuss efforts to fight against Ebola.

President Bach praised the NOC for its swift action in supporting the United Kingdom’s Joint Ebola Task Force in setting up an Ebola treatment facility in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The two met at the General Assembly of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) in Bangkok, Thailand.

An official from the UK Joint Ebola Task Force said hundreds of lives could have potentially been saved as a result of the quick approval by the NOC, coordinated by the IOC, to allow work to begin on the site at the Milton Margai College of Education and Technology (MMCET). Earlier this year, the Sierra Leone NOC continued work at the college on its OlympAfrica project to develop sporting infrastructure in the country. The project includes a 400-metre athletics track, football pitch and facilities for other Olympic sports such as tennis, volleyball, basketball and aquatics.

“I would like to thank the NOC of Sierra Leone for its swift action and stepping in to help with the tragedy that is sweeping through West Africa. It is good to see sporting organisations playing their part and offering their support,” said President Bach.

The IOC also promised assistance to the NOC to help the athletes and the Olympic Movement in Sierra Leone. “We want to help athletes in Sierra Leone in their day-to-day activities and in their preparations for any upcoming events,” the IOC President added.

The UK Government has plans to build six Ebola treatment centres in Sierra Leone, one of the countries hardest hit by the recent outbreak of the virus, which has already claimed over 4,800 lives in eight affected nations (Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, and the United States of America). For more information on Ebola, please visit the UN’s Global Ebola Response site. —- IOC/Photo: ©Thananuwat Srirasant (JOKE)

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