By ANNA RAWLINGS.
In one of the world’s most impoverished countries, Sierra Leone, with little access to basic health care, the Ebolavirus disease is ripping through the populace. There have been almost 5000 deaths since the initial outbreak in March 2014.
Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) Federal Secretary Lee Thomas has announced that 350 Australian nurses are “ready and willing to volunteer in West Africa” to fight the disease. Medical surgical nurse Kim Izon is one of those nurses.
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Kim Izon lives and works in Darwin, in the Northern Territory. The 25-year-old graduated with a nursing degree from university 18 months ago, and lives a normal, busy, successful, happy life in the tropical north. She’s surrounded by work, family, friends, and her beloved pet dog.
And now she’s volunteering to risk her own life to save others, in the face of the world’s most dangerous virus outbreak.
It’s not a light-hearted offer to request, through the ANMF, to join the front line against what is arguably the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis. But as a nurse, Kim is employed to save lives. Her job is to sustain, protect, and nurture the existence of others.
As she chats with Mamamia in a candid phone interview, Kim shares an insight into her decision to go to Sierra Leone.
“Every set of hands on the ground is going to make a difference, and our delay in getting people over there has already allowed the situation to worsen. I know Australia has put a lot of money into the issue, but you need people on the ground,” she says.