More NHS 'heroes' join Ebola fight
A second wave of NHS volunteers will arrive in Sierra Leone tomorrow to help tackle the Ebola outbreak which has claimed thousands of lives in West Africa.
The 25 doctors, nurses and other medical staff from across the UK will join 30 NHS volunteers who flew out to Sierra Leone last month.
International Development Secretary Justine Greening said: "These NHS heroes will play a vital role in our efforts to take this disease on at source."
The volunteers have had five days of intensive training in Worcestershire before travelling to Sierra Leone's capital Freetown.
After arriving they will complete further in-country training and acclimatisation, including at the British-built treatment centres where they will be working.
Staff nurse Hannah McReynolds, from Leicester, said: "As soon as I heard NHS staff were volunteering I didn't hesitate to apply. I feel lucky to have been born into a society which has provided me with free education and healthcare. I feel I should give back.
"I feel privileged to have been selected to be part of this team. The support and team work is already evident. This is a global issue and I am proud of my colleagues who have volunteered and want to encourage others to do so."
Ms Greening said: "The British fight against Ebola in West Africa is already paying dividends.
"More than 600 treatment and safe isolation beds are now operational, thousands of healthcare workers have been trained, and the first of three new labs is up and running, significantly boosting the capacity of the country to test blood and swab samples.
"None of this would have been possible without the grit and determination of the military personnel, scientists, healthcare and aid workers from across the UK who have travelled to Sierra Leone to defeat this terrible disease.
"But to beat Ebola we must keep up the fight. That is why we are continuing to deploy teams of experienced and dedicated NHS doctors and nurses, who will provide essential care and treatment for the sick."
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "I want to thank the brave NHS volunteers who are heading to Sierra Leone tomorrow to help in the fight against Ebola.
"They embody the values at the heart of our health service, and their expertise and dedication is second to none."