750 UK military personnel to combat Ebola

2014-10-08 19:36
Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

London - Britain is sending 750 military personnel, a medical ship and three helicopters to Sierra Leone to help fight the spread of Ebola, officials said on Wednesday.

The ship will be equipped with hospital-style critical care units while the three Merlin helicopters will carry doctors to areas where they are needed.

The personnel will be deployed from next week and will help to build treatment centres, the defence ministry said.

It said 200 military personnel would be deployed to run and staff a training facility for medical workers and 250 would use the helicopters to transport supplies and doctors.

The remaining 300 were already planned to assist Sierra Leone's government.

The announcement came after British Prime Minister David Cameron chaired a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee on the spread of Ebola.

The government meeting also decided to step up precautions against Ebola in Britain including through a planned "national exercise and wider resilience training".

The government said in a statement that posters would also be put up in British airports to raise awareness.

In Washington, US Secretary of State John Kerry also urged more countries to "step up" in the fight against Ebola following talks with Britain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.

The Ebola epidemic has killed nearly 3 500 people in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal this year.

Britain has only treated one case of Ebola on its shores.

More suspicion

William Pooley, a nurse who contracted the virus while working in Sierra Leone, made a full recovery last month after being treated in a London hospital.

But concerns have risen since a Spanish nurse caught Ebola while treating a patient in a Madrid hospital and the World Health Organisation has warned that other isolated infections in Europe were "unavoidable".

Health officials in the US announced Wednesday that a Liberian man diagnosed with Ebola in Texas, Thomas Eric Duncan, had died.

Britain's trade union for doctors, the British Medical Association, urged ministers to make it easier for doctors from west Africa working in Britain to return to the region and treat Ebola victims.

Many are currently concerned that doing so would put their ability to return to Britain at risk due to visa issues, said BMA senior director Vivienne Nathanson.

She also warned that Britain needed to have a "higher level of suspicion" about the risk from Ebola.

"We know there is a risk associated with the numbers of people coming through London because of our air links to west Africa so we need to have a higher level of suspicion and that means we need to inform the public," she told BBC radio.

"The one thing we have learnt from Texas is that we need to have a higher level of suspicion."

Read more on:    sierra leone  |  health  |  west africa  |  ebola

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.