Australia to send volunteer medics to fight Ebola

November 6, 2014 12:33 am 

SYDNEY, Nov. 5 — Australian medical staff will be sent to Sierra Leone as part of the nation's effort to help control Ebola in West Africa, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Wednesday.

Abbott said the government would pledge an additional 24 million Australian dollars (USD21 million) to help fight the virus, which has killed more than 4,950 people, mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

He said the government would send Australian volunteers to Sierra Leone as part of a deal with the British government to manage a hospital.

The British-controlled 100-bed center will be staffed by Australian-owned medical provider Aspen, but the majority of workers will be locals.

"I stress, this is a health emergency," he said. "It's not a military emergency, for instance, which is why we have contracted a private health provider to do this, which is in keeping with our response to other overseas health emergencies such as cholera in our region."

There have been no confirmed cases of Ebola in Australia, however a number of people have been tested after returning from West Africa. (PNA/Xinhua)

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