Ebola virus: London nurses travel to Congo to provide treatment

Jess Joyce says she and Kirsty Metz must ‘mentally prepare ourselves’ for the trip

Jess Joyce says she and Kirsty Metz must ‘mentally prepare ourselves’ for the trip

Ward manager Jess Joyce (left) and staff nurse Kirsty Metz

Two nurses from a London hospital are heading to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to treat people infected with the Ebola virus.

The Ebola epidemic in the DRC has killed more than 2,000 people since the outbreak was declared in August 2018, according to the World Health Organization.

Nurses are taking unpaid leave to volunteer

Ward manager Jess Joyce and staff nurse Kirsty Metz both work at the Royal Free Hospital (RFH) in Hampstead, which is recognised as a world leader in Ebola treatment.

They are taking unpaid leave to travel to the DRC, and their trip is part of the RFH’s education and training partnership with medical aid charity, Medecins Sans Frontieres.

Ebola treatment unit based in Goma

The charity has responded to the Ebola outbreak by opening a 72-bed treatment unit in the city of Goma, where Ms Joyce and Ms Metz will be based for six weeks.

Both nurses have experience of humanitarian work, including volunteering at a refugee camp in Calais, France.

Despite the hardship they may witness, Ms Joyce said they were prepared for the experience.

‘We know that we have the privilege of working somewhere where the majority of patients get to go home,’ she said. 

‘And we know that where we are going that may not always be the case. We need to mentally prepare ourselves for that.’ 

More nurses may be sent from trust in future

RFH senior matron Breda Athan said the nurses’ participation will enhance clinical knowledge and experience within the trust.  

‘We wish Jess and Kirsty all the very best, and we are already planning for further deployments from the trust,’ she said.

When the nurses return to work from their DRC trip, they will not be allowed patient contact for 21 days as a precautionary measure.

In other news

This is a free article for registered users

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this? You can register for free access.