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Aspen Medical celebrates with Sierra Leone as it is declared Ebola-free

Almost exactly a year since the Australian Government contracted Aspen Medical to manage an Ebola Treatment Centre (ETC) in Freetown, Sierra Leone, the country has been declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization (WHO).  Our  team in Sierra Leone has joined in the national celebrations following 42 consecutive days of no new infections being recorded  by giving a thumbs up to zero infections.

“This is wonderful news for the people of Sierra Leone and for the whole region in West Africa,” said Dr Andrew Walker, Executive Chairman and co-founder of Aspen Medical.

 “Our teams have worked selflessly and with great courage in the face of the worst outbreak of the worst communicable disease known. We should all be proud of the part they have played in West Africa over the past year,” he added.

Aspen Medical was one of the only organisations in the world to be contracted by three separate countries to deliver their Ebola response.  The company managed the Australian Government’s ETC in Sierra Leone from mid-December 2014 until the end of April 2015.  Aspen Medical has continued to play a crucial role in Sierra Leone where it manages the Kerry Town Treatment Unit on behalf of the UK Government as well as providing support to the laboratory run by Public Health England.  The company also managed four Ebola Treatment Units in Liberia on behalf of the US Government   In all, nearly 140 Australians deployed to West Africa with Aspen Medical.

In recent weeks Aspen Medical has opened a private healthcare clinic in Freetown. The facility is the company’s second such clinic in West Africa following the opening of a clinic in Monrovia, Liberia, in early 2014. In addition to the clinic in Sierra Leone, the company has also just launched aero-medical evacuation (AME) and general aviation services in West Africa.

“Like the clinics, the general aviation services and aero-medical evacuation capability are critical factors in assisting the region to return to normal, and attracting investment and companies back to the region following the unprecedented outbreak,” said Dr Walker.

Aspen Medical recently won an Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) award for its Ebola Response work in West Africa.  

To date, 28,607 infections have been recorded and 11,314 people have died as a result of the Ebola outbreak which began in Guinea in December 2013.  The WHO announced that there was one new confirmed case in Guinea last week.  On 1 November there were 382 contacts under follow-up in Guinea, 141 of whom are high-risk.  According to the WHO “there remains a near-term risk of further cases among both registered and untraced contacts”.

Photo: Giving a thumbs up in Sierra Leone are Jenny Lloyd – Registered Nurse, Ken McNeil – Registered Nurse, Sally Whitaker – Registered Nurse, Thomas Harman - Blood Management Specialist and Ming Zhang - Pharmacist.