A group of 170 health volunteers from Kenya have flown to West Africa to assist with efforts to contain the spread of Ebola in that region.
They left aboard two chartered Kenya Airways (KQ) flights and were destined for Freetown, Sierra Leone and Monrovia, Liberia. The two flights are chartered by the African Union will fly via Accra, Ghana.
The two flights, KQ 1510 and KQ5100 on B737 left Kenya at 12.30pm and are scheduled to arrive in Monrovia and Freetown at 6.30pm this evening.
The Ebola outbreak continues to ravage West Africa, with at least 8,235 people reported to have died and more than 20,700 fallen ill since the outbreak first began last year, CBS news quotes the latest World Health Organization (WHO) figures that were released Jan. 4. 2014.
According to WHO, six out of 10 patients currently hospitalized with the virus will die, and a huge number of victims still are not receiving medical care, which has allowed this public health crisis to continue to escalate at an alarming pace.
The Ebola pandemic has wreaked havoc in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone triggering a global scare and compelling nations to mobilise resources and personnel to combat the hemorrhagic fever.
Last year, the Kenya Government endorsed an African Union resolution calling on member states to support the fight against Ebola in West Africa, and committed US$ 1 million and 700 health workers to boost the war against Ebola in the three countries.
Speaking after a visit to State House, Nairobi, with the health officials, KQ Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mbuvi Ngunze said it was a privilege to be chartered by the AU to fly the Kenyan health officials to the Ebola hit countries of Sierra Leone and Liberia.
“We are incredibly honored to fly the health officials who are on a mission to assist our brothers through the crisis,” Mr. Ngunze said.
He added: “This mission in West Africa is an important example of African fighting spirit. It is about Africans finding solutions for Africa. It is important us as Kenya Airways, as we are keen on sustainability of Africa.”
Mr. Ngunze said that the mission may facilitate KQ’s re-entry into the two markets, whose flights were suspended by the Kenya Government in August last year, following the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa.