Nurse tried to help African Ebola victims

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

Wednesday, 8th October 2014, 6:00 pm
Rebecca Stretch.

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.

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“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.”