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Report: Manchester medics join the fight against Ebola

Two medics from our region are co-ordinating a dangerous mission to West Africa to combat the threat of the disease.

The World Health Organisation, says the virus has claimed more than 4,000 lives, largely in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

The experts run a charity based in Manchester called UK Med which recruits NHS workers from all over the country to help out in emergencies overseas.

They'll soon be flying to Sierra Leone.

Our correspondent Ashley Derricott reports:

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Manchester medic set to join Ebola fight

Dr Amy Hughes speaking at an Ebola conference in London. Credit: PA

A medic based at the University of Manchester has completed an induction session as she prepares to travel to West Africa to help the fight against Ebola.

Dr Amy Hughes, who works as a Clinical Academic Lecturer in Emergency Response at the University attended the session at the Department of Health in London along with other health professionals who have expressed an interest in traveling to Sierra Leone.

As part of her work within the University’s Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute, Dr Hughes is an experienced volunteer to international emergencies, having previously travelled to Sri Lanka to help with the recovery from the aftermath of the conflict there and to the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.

I’ve been involved with humanitarian work for the past six years. I love the challenge it presents and the privilege of engaging with different communities.

“Of course we will be apprehensive, and it is always a shock when you are first confronted with the devastation. We will be subjected to sights unlike anything we’ve encountered back home.”

– Dr Amy Hughes, University of Manchester

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People with mental health issues more likely to be killed

People with mental health problems are more likely to be murder or manslaughter victims Credit: PA

A new study says people with mental health problems are two and a half times more likely to be murder or manslaughter victims.

Over a three-year period, 1,496 people in England and Wales were killed in homicides, the research showed. Of these, 6% had been under the care of mental health services.

A third of the patient victims were killed by other individuals suffering from mental illness.

Professor Louis Appleby from the University of Manchester, who led the study said "Our findings show mental health providers can expect one of their patients to be a homicide victim every two years."

Grandmother collects wartime degree

A 90-year-old woman has finally graduated 70 years after she gained her degree.

Gene Hetherington achieved her BA in Commerce in August 1943 but was unable to attend her ceremony at the University of Manchester because she was involved in the war effort.

Following her studies she immediately went to work as an auditor in aircraft factories.

A subsequent busy work life as a buyer for the Lewis's department store and then starting a family meant she did not have time to pick up her accolade.

Today, she finally graduated and the occasion was made more poignant as her granddaughter, Rachel, 23, collected her law degree in the same ceremony at the university's historic Whitworth Hall.

The ceremony was wonderful and I was so pleased to see my granddaughter Rachel receive her degree, for which she worked so hard."

– Gene Hetherington

Manchester professor to lead UK's Philippines aid effort

Prof Tony Redmond, pictured on an earlier medical mission. Credit: University of Manchester

The UK's emergency response to the humanitarian disaster in the Philippines will be led by Tony Redmond, Professor of International Emergency Medicine at the University of Manchester.

Professor Redmond has trained in Emergency Medicine in Britain and the US and is a registered specialist, the Department for International Development said.

Destroyed and damaged houses in the city of Tacloban, central Philippines. Credit: AA / TT/TT News Agency/Press Association Images

At least 10,000 people are feared to have been killed by Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the central Philippines on Friday.

David Cameron said the scenes of devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan were "heart-breaking" as he announced that a 12-strong team of paramedics and surgeons, led by Prof Redmond, would help the relief effort.

The team of medical experts and the first consignment of UK aid will leave shortly, the Prime Minister said.

To find out more visit the Disasters Emergency Committee website.

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