A Brisbane based Red Cross doctor says the current Ebola epidemic is the worst medical crisis she’s ever witnessed.
Doctor Jenny Stedmon has just returned from Sierra Leone and is calling for more urgent international assistance to fight the virus.
Carina Nguyen reports.
It’s challenging, overwhelming but necessary work, despite not having enough resources to adequately deal with the crisis.
The doctor has been in Africa for the past month and now she’s quarantined from coming into physical contact with anyone for three weeks.
She says despite how easy it is to contract the disease, it is easily preventable.
Dr Jenny Stedmon, Red Cross Aid Worker: “The virus is killed by soap, water and chlorine which we’re using everywhere but we simply don’t have the resources to control it.”
Since returning, she’s required to check her temperature twice a day, but she believes Australia is relatively safe from Ebola.
Dr Jenny Stedmon, Red Cross Aid Worker: “I think we’re a lucky country, if it did turn up in Australia we have the capacity to isolate someone and prevent it from spreading.”
The World Health Organisation says more than 3,000 people have died, and it is predicted that 1.5 million people may contract the virus by mid January.
Up to five special aid workers are expected to travel to affected areas in the following weeks, however Jenny is encouraging more Australians to head over.
Dr Jenny Stedmon, Red Cross Aid Worker: “It’s safe, get out there and do something for Ebola for the people of West Africa.”
For now this Red Cross worker has work to do at home but she’s not afraid to head back if required.
Carina Nguyen, QUT News.