Did the UK do everything it could to help Pauline Cafferkey, the nurse from Glasgow who was diagnosed with Ebola? Is there’s a limit to what the UK can spare for those who risked their lives? She was fine earlier this week, but her body slowly succumbed to the wiles of the treacherous Ebola virus. Despite taking all the necessary precautions while serving as volunteer in Sierra Leone, the virus still got to her.
The incident is being investigated by the Save the Children organization in order to prevent another lapse. It would be a disaster if another health worker fell victim to the virus they fought so hard against. We can’t let these heroes who’re returning from serving their difficult and arduous tenure in West Africa end up in a hospital.
Pauline Cafferkey, 39 years, in her prime age is now in Royal Free London Hospital, brought there last Monday for more treatment.
It was a week ago when she started complaining of fever. After, her condition continued to deteriorate with no signs of abatement.
A brief statement on the hospital’s website said ‘The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust is sorry to announce that the condition of Pauline Cafferkey has gradually deteriorated over the past two days and is now critical.’
Speaking on BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show, David Cameron said: ‘it’s certainly the thing uppermost in my mind today with Pauline Cafferkey in hospital, and all of us are thinking of her and her family.’
‘And also how incredibly brave these people are, not only doctors and nurses from our NHS but also people from our armed forces who have been working in west Africa in very difficult conditions.’
Asked whether airport screening was failing, he said: ‘Her temperature was taken several times but then she was allowed to go on and travel to Scotland and what I have said very clearly is we should have a precautionary principle in place.’
‘If you are still in doubt, if there’s uncertainty, there’s proper arrangements for you to go to the Northwick Park Hospital in Middlesex to be observed and to have further tests there before going further.’
‘That is happening already, I am absolutely clear about that.
‘If we need to change further, if the chief medical officer says we need a system of quarantine or anything like that, then we should put that in place.
‘But it is important to listen to the medical experts and then make the decision.’
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said yesterday that the nurse was in ‘the best possible care’.
‘My thoughts are with Pauline Cafferkey and her family and friends at this difficult time.
‘I know Dr Mike Jacobs and his team at the Royal Free Hospital are working tirelessly to provide her with the best possible care.’
First Minister for Scotland Nicola Sturgeon added: ‘Our thoughts continue to be with Pauline Cafferkey and her family during this extremely distressing time.’
‘I would like to thank all of the health professionals involved in treating Pauline, as they continue to show tremendous dedication and expertise.’
What are needed right now are prayers for the brave nurse; that she will survive the greatest ordeal of her life.