ANMF urges donations to Ebola virus appeal

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Media Release (ANMF Federal Office)

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) is urging the Australian community to donate to help combat the deadly Ebola virus ravaging countries across West Africa.

The ANMF plea to the public comes today as initial tests have shown Queensland nurse Sue-Ellen Kovack has tested negative for the Ebola virus just days after returning to her Cairns home from West Africa, where she had been working as a volunteer for the Red Cross.

“We have all been very concerned about Sue-Ellen, so it’s a big relief to hear that initial tests are negative for Ebola,” ANMF Federal Secretary, Lee Thomas, said today.

“Sue-Ellen is focused on ensuring that her own experience doesn’t deter other people from volunteering in West Africa. She has been on the ground working in an Ebola Hospital and stresses the importance of educating local healthcare workers about how to treat victims and manage the spread of the virus.

“We are reiterating that the risk of contracting Ebola is extremely low.

“To quote the Queensland Chief Medical Officer, Dr Jeannette Young: ‘While Ebola is a very serious disease, it is not highly contagious and cannot be caught through coughing or sneezing; and a person is not infectious until they are unwell with the disease.’

“The ANMF is increasingly concerned that frontline health-workers from across the world still need personal protective equipment and other significant resources to help them as they treat Ebola victims in West Africa.

“We’re calling on our members, supporters and the wider community to donate to the Red Cross Ebola Appeal. We must work together to treat the victims of the disease, ensure the protection of healthcare workers on the ground and importantly, stop the disease from spreading even further across countries in West Africa.”

Ms Thomas said all proceeds from the appeal will be donated directly to the Red Cross to assist with training programs for local health professionals in the affected areas and the purchase of personal protective equipment in West Africa.

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The ANMF, with over 240,000 members, is the professional and industrial voice for nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing in Australia.