St John medic joins fight against Ebola
St John Ambulance volunteer Dr Neil Studd will
be far away from family and friends this Christmas, treating
victims of Ebola fever in an isolation unit in Sierra Leone.
The 27-year-old doctor, a cycle responder with
St John Ambulance London Region's volunteer Cycle Response Unit (CRU),
flew out to Freetown, Sierra Leone, on 7 December.
Neil, who is currently clinical lead for the
CRU, joins the King’s Sierra Leone Partnership for a month and
returns home in early January. The partnership is a joint
initiative by the Global Health Centre at King’s College, London
and the Sierra Leonean ministry of health.
Neil’s duties in Freetown will include treating infected
patients who arrive at the isolation unit and designing processes
to manage them as effectively as possible.
On his decision to join the fight against the disease he
said: ‘Watching the story unfold, I realised I had some skills
which might help.
“I am used to working in a fast-paced environment where you need
to make decisions quickly and I’m hoping I will be able to help
alleviate some of the suffering.
He adds: ‘It makes missing Christmas seem an irrelevance
compared with the suffering people are going through.”
His St John Ambulance manager and national operational cycling
officer Ashley Sweetland is proud of his colleague’s decision to
fly out to help those affected by the Ebola crisis.
He said: ‘Neil’s professionalism and dedication to making a
difference to others shines through in his work with the London
Region CRU of St John Ambulance. We’re proud to have such a
selfless team member and we wish him the very best of luck in his
mission to help in Sierra Leone.
‘Neil exemplifies the wide-ranging skills that volunteers bring
to our teams that enrich us as our organisation.’
To find out how to join the CRU unit