SA nurses fearless as they face Ebola

2015-01-19 20:48
(File: Sapa)

(File: Sapa)

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

Johannesburg - A South African nurse going to Sierra Leone to help combat the Ebola virus in West Africa said on Monday he is aware of the risks but not afraid.

Billy Nyaku, 31, from Limpopo, said he was aware that over 350 health care workers had died from Ebola in the region.

"I am aware of that but I am never scared at all, I am a soldier. It is about being compassionate about the helpless. Those people need our assistance," he said on the sidelines of a media briefing in Johannesburg.

"What did I study nursing for? This is a real opportunity for me to be part of the action because if I am not going there, I won't be part of history. I'm fearless."

He said he was privileged to be part of the first South African team to go to Sierra Leone.

South Africa will send a doctor and 10 nurses to the country, non-profit organisation Right to Care announced at the briefing.

Nyaku said his family was supportive, understood that anything could happen, but that it was something he needed to do.

He said it was important for South African health care professionals to have training, in case Ebola spread to the rest of Africa.

"If it comes to South Africa then we know we are here to help the people of South Africa."

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," she said.

"To be able to go there and make a difference in their lives is something I desire personally. My motivation in life is to be where I count the most. The purpose of life, I think, is to be able to give to people in their time of need."

She said ever since she heard of the Ebola outbreak she wanted to help, and urged other health workers to respond to the call.

Neo Mokane, a 28-year-old nurse from Soshanguve, said she was certain their safety would come first.

‘We have been prepared’

Mother of one, Mokane said she was excited and not worried because people had been cured of Ebola and she wanted to make a difference. Mokane had heard about Ebola from the media and read about it, but when she went to Johannesburg for training they "dismantled" the illness.

"We know about Ebola. We have been taught about that and obviously about the safety about a person. We have been prepared," she said.

"After yesterday's training. I have no fear at all. I know that I am going there to make a difference."

Chief medical officer at Right to Care, Pappie Majuba, said they had taken all necessary precautions to minimise risk.

"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 team 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.

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 15 January, the Associated Press reported that Sierra Leone had had 3 062 Ebola deaths during the current outbreak, which began in March. The three worst-affected countries are Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia.

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

Join the conversation! 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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Hip Cape Town bars to discover this summer
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.