Seven biomedical scientists who travelled to remote parts of west Africa to help people during the height of the Ebola Crisis have been recognised for their work.
The members of the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust’s infection and immunity department worked at Ebola Treatment Centres across Sierra Leone helping test blood samples for the disease.
During their time there they also travelled to remote locations across the country to train and educate local healthcare professionals on the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique which is used to diagnose Ebola.
Now the team has been awarded the Queen’s Ebola Medal for their work, which helped slow down the spread of the disease by increasing the speed of diagnosis, leading to in quicker treatment and isolation of sufferers.
The award recognises the work of individuals supporting the British government’s efforts in west Africa to eradicate the disease.
Ray Ofori, Maxwell Al-Hassan, Lisa Simonds, Nita Fatania, David Anti, Liliana Carvalho and Vicki Heath were presented their medals by Trust chief executive, Dr Tracey Batten.
Ms Heath said: “My time in Sierra Leone was hard work in very hot and challenging conditions. Nevertheless, I found the whole experience very fulfilling and I am pleased to have been able to play a part in overcoming such a deadly disease. It is a real honour to have been recognised in this way.”
Paying tribute to the scientists, Dr Batten, said: “I am proud of the role our staff played in tackling Ebola in Sierra Leone. Using their NHS experience, they selflessly took on a potentially life threatening challenge to help those in great need, and ultimately help to defeat the spread of Ebola.”
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust runs five hospitals in west London, including Hammersmith, St Mary’s and Charing Cross.