Saturday, 3 January 2015

UK is leading the fight against Ebola - grateful thanks to our nurses, doctors, military and scientists leading the way

I wanted to update the blog readers on what we are doing in Sierra Leone to help tackle Ebola.

The UK is leading the response in Sierra Leone and has already committed £230 million to the recovery effort. The first of the UK constructed Ebola treatment centres (ETC) in Kerry Town opened on 5 November and has 62 beds. Five additional UK supported facilities are also near completion and will be up and running as of today.

The UK-led training academy in Freetown has now provided:
- over 4,000 courses for 1270 healthcare workers,
- over 2,100 hygienists and logistics staff
- and over 300 trainers of trainers.

With DFID support, WHO has also trained a further 1,000 frontline staff. More than 50 NHS staff from across the UK have flown out to Sierra Leone to join Britain’s fight against Ebola, joining almost a thousand military personnel, scientists, healthcare and aid workers on the ground. Together we are working to contain, control and defeat this appalling disease. We should be very grateful for the dedication of all personnel involved.

When people ask what does our International Aid money do to help us in the UK, and those in trouble around the world, this is a great example, and I am really proud of what we are doing. But at Christmas time please remember all the UK experts out there in Sierra Leone doing what they can for this afflicted country and preventing the spread of this terrible disease.

1 comment:

  1. Dr Emma Campbell5 January 2015 at 00:16

    I am aid worker who lives in your constituency and have recently returned from Sierra Leone where I worked on an Ebola project. Based on my experience in country, I suggest that this post is not only incorrect, but is opportunist in its blatant use of the Ebola crisis for political gain.

    The UK is not 'leading the fight against Ebola'. The Sierra Leone government, its brave health workers and the NGO Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders or MSF) have been leading the fight against Ebola. The contribution of the UK government is tiny compared to that of the local doctors and nurses and expatriate volunteers who have been working in countries across West Africa since FEBRUARY of 2014. Despite cries for support throughout 2014 from West African governments and MSF, the UK government arrived too late and with too few resources. It has committed money, but relied on volunteers and charities to do the most challenging work.

    Mr Opperman would be advised to gain a better understanding of the situation in Sierra Leone and learn the lessons from the failure of the UK government to act in a timely and effective fashion before using the suffering of others for his political gain.

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