Thus far the federal government has resisted calls for Australia to send assistance other than funding to fight the growing ebola crisis in West Africa citing an inability to guarantee treatment for infected personnel close by. In this open letter visiting Professor Larry Hollingworth CBE, Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs, Fordham University, New York explains that, while evacuation routes for patients are required, in AusMAT, Australia has the means and expertise to make a difference.
Professor Hollingworth writes:
I believe there is considerable debate in Australia about the barriers to deploying AusMAT teams to West Africa. As someone who has trained many AusMAT leaders and worked with some, I wish with respect to add my commentary to this issue.
This is my independent view.
I write simply as a humanitarian.
In my years as a humanitarian worker I have never heard the strength of language currently being used from Governments, UN, WHO, prominent NGOs and workers on the ground. We will have a crisis of unimaginable consequences if the world does not act now. We remember crises like Rwanda, where hundreds of thousands died whilst the world watched. In the countries affected by ebola public health care has been severely tested. Care for ‘day to day’ illnesses such as malaria, pneumonia, and gastroenteritis is limited by resources diverted to the ebola responseREAD MORE