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  1. ITV Report

Meet the Welsh doctor who was on the frontline of the Ebola crisis

When Dr Brendan Healy arrived in Sierra Leone he was met by posters of doctor's who'd died after catching Ebola.

Dr Brendan Healy travelled to Sierra Leone in 2015 to help tackle the deadly Ebola outbreak that killed more than 11,000 people over three years.

The Swansea doctor risked his life to help contain the disease.

Whole families were wiped out. Lots of doctors and healthcare workers caught and died from Ebola. I remember the first thing I saw when I arrived in the hospital were posters of doctors who'd died as a consequence of having caught Ebola.

It's concerning when you are out there that you might end up infected. I didn't think too much about being infected though because I was concentrating more on being careful not to catch it.

– Dr Brendan Healy, Public Health Wales virologist

Dr Healy is a consultant in microbiology and infectious diseases and he's now using his experience from the crisis to prepare Welsh hospitals for any future outbreaks.

He's working with Public Health Wales and Welsh hospitals to offer the public the best possible protections from Ebola and other infectious diseases.

The risk of Ebola in Wales remains low, but in these days of international travel no-one can afford to be complacent, so we are always working to protect the public.

Being part of the international response to the West Africa outbreak was of huge benefit to me and the NHS in Wales. The learning that you pick up from that type of experience and managing real cases is just invaluable. Being in that situation is not something you can learn here, and I feel much more competent managing suspect cases now as a result of having been out in Sierra Leone.

– Dr Brendan Healy, Public Health Wales virologist

A vaccine developed with support from the UK Government's Department for International Development has been used to restrict the spread of the virus across west Africa.

When Dr Healy traveled to Sierra Leona the vaccine had not yet been developed but now over 190,000 people have received the treatment in the Democratic Republic of Congo where an Ebola epidemic has been declared.

Initial results suggest the the vaccine is 97% effective.

World Health Organisation worker decontaminates the home of someone who tested positive for Ebola. Credit: PA

The UK Government has given £45m in response to the Democratic Republic of Congo epidemic and recently pledged a further £8m to prevent the spread into neighbouring countries.

Ebola has already taken far too many lives in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Shockingly, it has wiped out entire families and, a year after this outbreak started, it is showing no sign of slowing down.

The UK has led the way in tackling this killer disease and we can be proud of our support to create a life-saving Ebola vaccine which has inoculated 180,000 people so far.

Diseases like Ebola have no respect for borders. This could be spread beyond DRC. It is essential the rest of the international community steps up to help. If we don’t act now, many thousands more lives could be lost.

– Alok Sharma, International Development Secretary