(OTTAWA, ON) – In support of Canada’s response to fight the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, and following an acclimatization period, 37 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) health care and support staff commenced operations today in Kerry Town, Sierra Leone.
CAF personnel deploying to Sierra Leone are well prepared for their mission. Before deploying to West Africa, CAF members completed comprehensive training at the state-of-the-art British Army Medical Services Training Centre in Strensall, UK, alongside their British military counterparts.
CAF military doctors, nurses, medics, and support staff are operating at the UK’s Kerry Town Treatment Unit (KTTU). Canadians are working alongside their British counterparts in providing essential medical care to local and international health care workers. The command and support staff within Canada’s task force will deploy for up to six months. The Canadian military health care personnel will be rotated every two months during the deployment.
“Canadian Armed Forces health care personnel are well trained and fully prepared to represent Canada in the fight against Ebola,” said Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence. “Their diligent efforts in preparing for this critical mission highlight our commitment to support the global effort to contain the spread of Ebola in West Africa.”
While providing important critical care to patients in West Africa, CAF members will wear protective equipment and adhere to stringent safety protocols designed to mitigate their personal risk.
The CAF mission, Operation SIRONA, is augmenting the UK’s Operation GRITROCK, at the KTTU in Sierra Leone and will remain until governance of the treatment facility can be transferred to non-governmental organizations.