SA deploys medics for Ebola fight in Sierra Leone

2015-01-19 16:36

South Africa will send a doctor and 10 nurses to Sierra Leone to help combat Ebola in West Africa, says a non-profit organisation.

“We have taken all the necessary precautions to minimise it (the risk) to zero,” said chief medical officer at Right to Care, Pappie Majuba, on the sidelines of a media briefing in Johannesburg today.

“We are giving them intensive training and they are still going through more intensive training even before they see patients in Sierra Leone.”

He said even though South Africa had no reported Ebola cases, the experience the health care workers would gain would be valuable in fighting Ebola and other highly infectious diseases.

The group was expected to leave on Friday and would stay in Sierra Leone for eight weeks.

Majuba said there would be health care professionals tasked with monitoring the team daily.

Additional training and recruitment would take place on an ongoing basis to send additional doctors, nurses, and paramedics.

Laura Mosiah, a 32-year-old nurse from Ballito, KwaZulu-Natal, said this was a once-in-a lifetime experience.

“I am ready. It will be so beneficial. Even as a professional you will grow. If you are a doctor or a nurse or a paramedic, you have been called.”

According to Right to Care, training was important because so far 678 health care workers had contracted Ebola and 382 had died from the disease.

On January 15, the Associated Press reported that Sierra Leone had had 3062 Ebola deaths during the year-long outbreak. The three worst-affected countries are Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia.

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