MOSCOW, October 21 (RIA Novosti) – The UK government aims to help contain Ebola virus in West Africa and prevent its spread to the United Kingdom, with about a hundred soldiers from the Royal Army Medical Corps being sent to Sierra Leone, the UK Department for International Development stated in a press release Tuesday.
"Halting the disease in West Africa is the most effective way of preventing Ebola infecting people here in the UK," the International Development Secretary Justine Greening said, adding that she would join British Army medics and engineers on their way to Sierra Leone "spearheading the UK's efforts to contain and ultimately defeat Ebola".
Greening also said she would monitor how the British aid package of £125 million ($202.05 million) would be used. The aid package is to support 700 beds in Sierra Leone hospitals and contribute to the treatment of about 8,800 patients over six months, the press release said.
Together with the British medical staff already in Sierra Leone since September, the overall number of Britain"s medical personnel deployed in Sierra Leone will reach 750 people, the BBC informed.
The United Kingdom launched its anti-Ebola campaign in Sierra Leone in September, after the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Sierra Leonean government requested its assistance in containing the outbreak, as the UK government announced in September.
An epidemic of the Ebola virus that began in West Africa in February later spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Senegal. However, Senegal and Nigeria have recently been declared free of Ebola by the WHO. Several cases of the disease have also been registered outside of West Africa.
In August, the Ebola outbreak was declared an international public health emergency by the WHO. The total number of Ebola cases recorded totals 9,216 people, with the death toll reaching 4,555 as of October 17, according to the WHO.