British Ebola aid effort in West Africa

Heroic aid workers, medics and servicemen and women risked their lives to save thousands of people in the worst ever outbreak of deadly Ebola

 

Since February 2014, almost 28,000 people across Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia have been struck down by Ebola.

More than 11,000 died.

But without the dedication of British support workers, the death toll would have been far higher and the outbreak would not have been contained.

The UK took the lead in tackling the crisis in Sierra Leone, where Save the Children was at the forefront of the battle.

Other agencies supporting the effort included The British Red Cross, UNICEF and Medecins Sans Frontieres.

UK military personnel were also involved in setting up training facilities in afflicted areas, teaching more than 4,000 professionals how to tackle Ebola.

For several months, Sierra Leone was the largest UK military deployment anywhere in the world.

The doctors, nurses and support staff who set up treatment centres in the worst-affected areas risked catching the contagious disease as they lived and worked alongside victims.

All of them are to be honoured with a collective Special Recognition award at the Daily Mirror's Pride of Britain Awards 2015.

Three of the volunteers did succumb to the illness that leads to agonising internal bleeding and is fatal in 50-90% of cases.

Nurse Will Pooley, 30, from Suffolk, was the first British aid worker to be struck down. He caught it from an orphan in his care in Sierra Leone.

And British Army medic Cpl Anna Cross, 25, from Cambridge, was the third to be diagnosed. All three were brought back to the UK and treated successfully at London’s Royal Free Hospital.

The Ebola outbreak was one of the most devastating epidemics of our generation, but we managed to stop its spread thanks to the hard work of British people who travelled to West Africa.  As a result of their efforts, many lives were saved and the outbreak contained.David Cameron, PM

More than £427million was set aside by the UK Government to help tackle the disease, but this aid would have had little impact without the dedication of those who risked their safety to implement it.

 

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