Delivering Britain’s response to the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone

In support of the government of Sierra Leone and the U. K. international development department, British Army medical teams, stores and aid experts arrived at Freetown's deep water quay Thursday on Royal Fleet Auxiliary aviation support ship Argus.

The arrival of Argus is the latest deployment in a joint operation to assist the UK aid mission, with 800 deployed personnel. The Argus’ helicopters and  fleet of vehicles will speed up the delivery of emergency supplies and personnel across the country, a Dfid official said.

Three Merlin Mk2 helicopters, from 820 Naval Air Squadron, will be used to help teams move quickly around the country. Two landing craft vehicles and 3 rigid hull inflatable boats, from 539 Assault Squadron Royal Marines, will be used for moving equipment and personnel inland along Sierra Leone’s river network.

Personnel from 5 British medical regiments are helping to train more than 800 Sierra Leoneans at the Ebola Training Academy in the nation's capital. Those healthcare workers will fan out to community care treatment centres across the country.

En route to Sierra Leone all the ship’s company and other military forces on board have attended mandatory counter-Ebola training and briefing sessions to prepare for the operation.

RAF personnel are based at Accra in Ghana supporting the movement of equipment and personnel, and in Sierra Leone as part of the joint command team which is supporting the international aid effort.

Meanwhile Royal Engineers have overseen the construction of 5 treatment units, which will provide 700 beds and become available for use by the end of November.

In addition the Kerry Town Treatment Centre is scheduled to open for patients in the next few days.

Part of this facility will be manned by medics from 22 Field Hospital, Royal Army Medical Corps, and will provide care to national and international healthcare workers, a U.K. government release said.


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