Via Scoop.co.nz: New Zealand Red Cross Nurses to Help with Ebola Crisis. Excerpt:
New Zealand Red Cross nurses Donna Collins and Sharon Mackie are on their way to Sierra Leone to join an international Red Cross team responding to the Ebola crisis.
Donna Collins, 48, a mother of four from Whangarei says as a nurse and midwife she has a passion for helping people.
“I’d like to think if the tables were turned, other countries would come to our assistance. I feel 100% supported and safe, this kind of work is nothing new to me. I deal with bodily fluids on a daily basis and I am trained and experienced in following proper procedure.”
Sharon Mackie, 45, a health coordinator for an NGO in Wellington, says she is keen to use her skills and experience to help stop the disease spreading further.
“It’s what I’ve trained 18 months for. This is what the Red Cross is set up to do. There needs to be a global humanitarian response because the local health system does not have the skills or resources to cope.”
Their deployment was prompted by a request to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) by the government of Sierra Leone and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
New Zealand Red Cross secretary general Tony Paine says the Kiwi nurses are courageous, committed and are true humanitarians.
“We’ve been asked for help and our nurses have put their hands up. They are well trained, experienced, and prepared. They have an opportunity to really make a difference to people’s lives and I am proud of them.”
Ms Mackie and Ms Collins will join an emergency response team made up of Red Cross health professionals from Spain, Australia, Norway and the United Kingdom, which will set up an isolation ward and provide clinical care to infected patients in Kenema,the worst-hit area of Sierra Leone.
Critical shortages of local medical staff have left Kenema Hospital under-staffed, making it difficult to contain the disease.