World Vision To Train ‘Locals’ for Ebola Response
9 October 2014 at 11:27 am
World Vision will now train hundreds of local West African healthcare workers in an effort to stop the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in Sierra Leone following the Federal Government’s decision not to send Australian aid workers to the hot spot.
The decision comes after a $2.5 million boost in Federal Government funding for the outbreak in West Africa which has caused controversy among aid agencies.
World Vision Australia’s Head of Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs Majella Hurney said the organisation had received $625,000 in additional Government funding to support the humanitarian organisation’s efforts to prevent and control the spread of the deadly virus.
Last week global aid agency Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) declined a cash offer from the Federal Government to fight Ebola instead urging Australia to send trained emergency medical personnel.
The charity said it had declined the offer of $2.5 million as the Ebola response from Australia, asking the country instead to deploy desperately-needed medical teams.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told Federal Parliament during Question Time last week that Australia would not put its health workers at risk of contracting the Ebola virus in West Africa when there is no safe evacuation plan.
She said the flying time between West Africa and Australia was approximately 30 hours which was far too long for a patient who may contract the deadly disease to receive proper care.
“Australia also didn't possess a military aeroplane capable of evacuating Ebola sufferers,” Bishop told Parliament.
West Africa has had more than 2,000 confirmed cases of Ebola and almost 600 deaths attributed to the virus.
“With the support of the Australian Government, World Vision will distribute over 5 million items of protective clothing and equipment and begin a rapid training program for 750 healthcare workers,” World Vision’s Majella Hurney said.
World Vision said it will also implement a community-outreach program to raise awareness of prevention, control and treatment measures, including broadcasting radio messages to affected communities.
The relief agency said it expects to reach over 67,000 individuals with the latest program.