Seventeen Australian health workers are departing Australia for West Africa to train and prepare to provide clinical care in an Ebola treatment centre in Sierra Leone.
According to a statement issued by the Australian High Commission to the Ghana News Agency, this is part of Australia’s 42-million-dollar contribution to the Ebola response in West Africa, announced by the Prime Minister, and will form part of the UK’s
broader response in Sierra Leone.
The statement said all the health workers have extensive experience in disease control, and will undertake comprehensive Ebola treatment training in Sierra Leone in accordance with World Health Organization standards.
It disclosed that they have undertaken preliminary training in Canberra, and that the Ebola treatment centre to be managed and operated by Australia is located at Hastings Airfield, close to Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital.
The statement said this location has an urban population, a high and growing rate of Ebola transmission, and a very high demand for treatment beds.
The centre is currently under construction by UK Royal Engineers, and it is expected to be completed by mid-December.
The statement said the 100-bed facility will commence operations with a smaller number of beds and scale up to capacity, in accordance with best practice.
This will ensure proper safety practices are in place and infection control procedures are working effectively.
The Australian Government continues to advise Australians to re-consider the need to travel to Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, due to the on-going and widespread transmission of Ebola. GNA