Ebola epidemic - A global crisis

Considering the deadly nature of ebola, the killer disease now sweeping through west Africa, the sheer courage of people currently applying to join Goal in the fight against the epidemic is nothing short of astonishing.

The aid agency has received over 1,000 applications, including 600 from nurses and doctors, in an emergency recruitment drive to set up a 50-bed emergency treatment unit in Sierra Leone by early December. While relatively few Irish people applied, the HSE should respond positively to calls to free up staff.

Ominously, Goal’s Barry Andrews warns that if 70% of patients are not in emergency treatment units by Christmas, the disease will continue to increase exponentially.

There is an onus on the Irish authorities to do everything in their power to prevent what is rapidly becominga global crisis coming here. Yet the crew members of a ship which left Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital, a week ago, disembarked and mingled freely with the public, and God knows what else, when they arrived in Dublin without being tested medically. That’s alarming.

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