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Speaking Notes For Dr. Gregory Taylor Chief Public Health Officer of Canada : Join the Fight Against Ebola

Ottawa, ON
Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thank you, Ministers Ambrose and Nicholson.

As both Ministers have noted, today Canada is taking another important step in our whole-of-government contribution to an integrated, global battle to curb the spread of Ebola in West Africa.

This level of collaboration is at the core of international efforts.

And it reflects Canada’s ongoing commitment to meeting the Ebola crisis at its source.

As Minister Ambrose noted, the Government of Canada has been at the forefront of this battle since the outset.

As you may know, the Government sent its first mobile laboratory to Sierra Leone, to assist with rapid laboratory diagnostics back in June.

This allowed isolation and appropriate treatment of Ebola cases.

Today, the scale of this crisis has left Sierra Leone with a severe shortage of beds and medical care.

Many of the treatment facilities and first responders in Sierra Leone are still overwhelmed, and we are seeing increased deaths from other diseases like malaria and pneumonia, due to lack of treatment and available resources.

A broad range of medical and public health support is critically required now to assist in bringing an end to this outbreak.

That includes primarily doctors and nurses, but also laboratory specialists, psychosocial support workers, logisticians, water and sanitation engineers, paramedics, nurses’ aides, as well as medical professionals in our armed forces.

These types of specialized capabilities are critical in a medical and public health crisis of this magnitude.

They also help to provide integrated logistics.

Every precaution will be taken to make sure that any Canadians supporting the crisis in West Africa are safe.

Today’s announcements help ensure that safety. 

Our armed forces will receive specialized training in the United Kingdom before travelling to Sierra Leone.

And our humanitarian funding will help address urgent training needs for medical and emergency experts.

We are seeing progress on some fronts, and know that these further efforts are absolutely critical to continuing along that path.

There is still a long road ahead before we see a more manageable situation in West Africa.

But I am immensely proud of the big step our country is taking today to get us there.

I would like to join the Ministers in sending my most sincere appreciation to our brave troops, our skilled and courageous health professionals, volunteers and humanitarian workers.

Thank you very much.