Ebola nurse travels home from Africa

The Ebola virus.
The Ebola virus.
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A nurse who travelled to Sierra Leone to help ebola victims is on her way home.

Rebecca Stretch, CNWL’s Deputy Director of Infection Prevention and Control, flew to Kenema, Sierra Leone, one month ago.

Rebecca Stretch from Carnforth, who is travelling to Sierra Leone to help Ebola victims.

Rebecca Stretch from Carnforth, who is travelling to Sierra Leone to help Ebola victims.

Her main role has been to advise on IPC (Infection Prevention and Control) and improve procedures to keep all health care workers as safe as possible.

When Rebecca first arrived she was the only infection control trained nurse in the region and travelled to review different treatment centres and to give advice on holding centres; where people wait for results, transit services and burial methods, as well as teaching the fundamentals in infection prevention and control.

Rebecca has become an experienced member of staff and in just one month has learnt a great deal.

It is with mixed emotions that she returns home.

She said: “I’m tired on all levels and ready for a rest, but feeling guilty leaving when there is still so much to do.”

The situation in Sierra Leone is still serious and more volunteers are needed.

She said: “I’ve made it back to Freetown, a lot of Ebola checkpoints on the way, so even with a UN security pass it took some time.

“The Air France flight was cancelled - so hope to be on the Brussels flight, but presently the country is in a lock down for house to house investigations, so travel is very difficult.

“Everywhere is very quiet - even the fishing boats are held on the shore. Feels a little weird, sort of the calm before the storm. A month without a day off and 12-14 hour days in heat and a plastic suit is not easy at my age.”