UK sends military, experts to West Africa to fight Ebola

LONDON — British military and humanitarian experts will set up a medical treatment centre for victims of the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, a British official has announced on Monday.

The facility, including a 50 bed medical unit for treating victims and a specialist 12 bed treatment centre for health workers, will be purpose built and operated by military engineers and medical staff.

The initial phase of the facility will be constructed and operational within 8 weeks, according to a press release sent by the Department for International Development.

British military personnel will begin to survey and assess the site later this week. Based near the capital Freetown, the facility will treat victims of the disease, including local and international health workers and medical volunteers.

Announcing the deployment, International Development Secretary Justine Greening said: “Britain is at the forefront of the global effort to tackle this deadly outbreak, having already committed 25 million pounds of support, including frontline treatment and funding for medical research to develop a vaccine.”

The official added that the scale of the problem requires the entire international community to do more to assist the affected countries.

The UK’s support follows a direct request from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the government of Sierra Leone for assistance in containing the outbreak.

“Ebola has become a global threat which requires urgent global efforts in solidarity with the affected countries,” Dr. Margaret Chan, the WHO chief said last week. She emphasized at that same time that: “This outbreak can and will be controlled. We know what is needed and we know how to do it.” (Xinhua)

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