Nurse tried to help African Ebola victims

Rebecca Stretch.
Rebecca Stretch.
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A nurse who volunteered to help Ebola victims in Sierra Leone has said she was surprised and shocked by what she saw.

Rebecca Stretch, 43, Deputy Director of Infection Prevention and Control, travelled as part of the World Health Organisation (WHO) team.

She said: “The capacity of the hospital was about 35-40 patients but at one point we had around 100.

“There’s only so much you can do once a person has Ebola – mainly hydration, sometimes antibiotics and other basic treatments for things such as malaria but a lot of rehydration.

“It was much more chaotic and dangerous than I had expected.

“I can’t explain the plight of the patients and the conditions in which we were trying to look after people in – no linen, not always washed, water delivered but not given to patients, sharps lying about, Oral Rehydration Solution not replenished. The most useful thing that I contributed was probably to improve infection control procedures, such as introducing one-way gates into the hospital.

“All I can take away is that I tried.”