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首页 About News Center BGI News Community Impact Over a Decade of Partnership: BGI Group Reinforces Its Commitment to Sierra Leone's Public Health an...

Over a Decade of Partnership: BGI Group Reinforces Its Commitment to Sierra Leone's Public Health and Development

March 02, 2024 Views:

On February 29, Dr. Yin Ye, CEO and Executive Director of BGI Group, met with Julius Maada Wonie Bio, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, who was on a state visit to China. Dr. Yin reviewed BGI Group's support to Sierra Leone during the Ebola and COVID-19 pandemics and introduced its latest updates on industry, academics, and research development. He expressed the company's willingness to strengthen cooperation with Sierra Leone in the fields of public health, food security, and talent cultivation.

图片2.pngJulius Maada Wonie Bio, President of Sierra Leone (right), with Dr. Yin Ye, CEO and Executive Director of BGI Group.

President Bio highly praised BGI for its active support in Sierra Leone's fight against epidemics on multiple occasions. He recognized BGI Group’s technological and industrial advancement and expressed that the Sierra Leone government places great importance on agriculture, health, education, and people's livelihoods. Sierra Leone will fully support BGI Group in expanding its cooperation within the country in the relevant fields.

H.E. Mrs. Fatima Maada Bio, the First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone; David Moinina Sengeh, Chief Minister of the Government of Sierra Leone; Abu Bakarr Karim, the Ambassador of Sierra Leone to China; and representatives of Chinese partners, among others, attended the meeting. 

图片3.pngGroup photo of Julius Maada Wonie Bio, President of Sierra Leone (fourth from the left) alongside Sierra Leone’s representatives, and Dr. Yin Ye, CEO and Executive Director of BGI Group (fourth from the right) with his team.

Over the past decade, BGI has upheld its mission of "Omics for all," continuously supporting the public health development in Sierra Leone and West Africa.

In 2014, West Africa experienced a significant Ebola virus outbreak, which gained global attention due to its rapid spread and high mortality rate. In January 2015, four volunteers from BGI went to Freetown, Sierra Leone, to provide technical support with advanced sequencing equipment and diagnostic reagents at no cost, aiding in the local fight against Ebola. At that time, there was a public opinion internationally that the Ebola virus had undergone significant mutation, leading to widespread transmission. The BGI volunteer team conducted sequencing and analysis on 175 strains of the Ebola virus and discovered that there had been no significant mutations, debunking this rumor and providing important scientific evidence for the formulation of subsequent public health strategies.

图片4.pngBGI volunteers went to Sierra Leone to fight the Ebola epidemic in 2014.

In November 2019, BGI reached an agreement with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention to carry out scientific research cooperation at the Sierra Leone-China Friendship Biological Safety Laboratory (SLE-CHN Biosafety Lab) and provided a sequencing device for the pathogen detection project.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, BGI's COVID-19 testing kits and virus gene sequencing reagents reached Sierra Leone. Along with the BGI sequencing device deployed in 2019, this equipment formed the front line in the battle against COVID-19, providing crucial support for testing and virus strain analysis.