Ebola (Sierra Leone)

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 20 January 2015.

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Photo of Stephen Mosley Stephen Mosley Conservative, City of Chester 11:30, 20 January 2015

What recent assessment he has made of the Ebola infection rate in Sierra Leone.

Photo of Philip Hammond Philip Hammond Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The number of new cases and the rate of infection are, I am pleased to say, both now decreasing in Sierra Leone. The fall in the infection rate is a clear demonstration that UK-led efforts are slowing the spread of this deadly disease. The UK remains fully committed to providing the resources and leadership needed to defeat Ebola in Sierra Leone.

Photo of Stephen Mosley Stephen Mosley Conservative, City of Chester

I thank my right hon. Friend for that really positive response, but what support is he offering to British nationals, including health workers, to ensure that they are fully protected from this disease?

Photo of Philip Hammond Philip Hammond Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

As my hon. Friend will know, we have established a military-run facility in Sierra Leone to provide health care to health workers who may have been exposed to Ebola. We also regularly arrange medevac flights, where necessary, to bring out health workers. In fact, two health workers were brought out on a precautionary basis in the past few days.

Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Shadow Minister (Education)

What advice would the Secretary of State give to anyone planning to travel from the UK to Sierra Leone at the present time?

Photo of Philip Hammond Philip Hammond Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

Our advice is that unless they are going as a health care worker to fighter the Ebola emergency as part of an organised humanitarian programme, they should not travel. The advice is to avoid travel.