Hundreds of Australian nurses are putting their hands up to volunteer at Ebola treatment centres in West Africa with or without government assistance.
Central Queensland mother and registered nurse Charmaine Dalton applied to volunteer through Aspen Medical because, in her mind, it was the right thing to do.
Ms Dalton said simple healthcare she and others hope to provide should not be tied up into the politics of the epidemic.
“I am a humanitarian and I have the nursing skills. It is just the right thing to do,” Ms Dalton said.
“Everyone deserves that access to health care. It doesn’t matter who you are.”
An Australian Nurses and Midwifery Federation spokesperson said there are more than 300 nurses wanting to go over to assist with the Ebola crisis.
“We have 350 Australian nurses who have already told the ANMF they are ready and willing to volunteer in West Africa,” ANMF spokesperson said.
“The Government needs to do more by directly training, organising and providing the logistical support for a deployment of Australian nurses and other health professionals to Ebola hotspots so they can join other nurses and healthcare workers from around the world in the Ebola fight.”
Ms Dalton said Australia’s state of the art healthcare training needed to be better utilised to help combat the deadly virus.
“We have some of the best training in the world and I think we should be getting together with our international counterparts and stepping up to the challenge and joining them,” Ms Dalton said.
Aspen Medical, the main supplier of provisions at the 100 bed Ebola Treatment Unit in Sierra Leone, is currently seeking health professionals to work for short term periods at the unit, all costs covered.
Aspen Medical representative Glenn Keys says 10 to 20 per cent of staff at their Sierra Leone Ebola treatment centre will be Australian nurses.*
“Australian nurses and health professionals generally are highly-respected the world over for their training and professionalism,” Mr Keys said.
“We have experience working in remote and challenging environments unmatched anywhere.”
“We are not only seeking nurses and doctors but also those with logistics, project management experience all in a healthcare setting,” Mr Keys said.
For health professionals wanting to volunteer in West Africa,visit http://www.aspenmedical.com.au/ebola
*Updated: this statement was incorrectly attributed and has been corrected to Mr Glenn Keys.