7 Dec 2014

Over 80 NZers volunteer to fight Ebola

2:03 pm on 7 December 2014

Eighty-two New Zealanders want to join the international fight against Ebola.

Ebola - Liberia

A nurse walks with a little girl suffering from Ebola in Liberia (November 2014). Photo: AFP

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman said that was the number of people that had registered to support the Australian-flagged mission to Sierra Leone to operate a 100-bed Ebola treatment centre.

The new Health Minister, Jonathan Coleman, is signalling a bigger focus on sport and childhood obesity over the next three years.

Jonathan Coleman Photo: RNZ / Karen Brown

Dr Coleman said people with a range of skills had registered, including nurses, GPs, pharmacists and administrators.

He said the Government announced last month it would facilitate the deployment of up to 24 New Zealanders as part of New Zealand's $2 million practical contribution to international efforts to combat Ebola in West Africa.

The number of people killed by the outbreak has risen to about 7000, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said last month.

Ebola is spread only through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person showing symptoms, such as fever or vomiting.

People caring for the sick or handling bodies are therefore especially vulnerable.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs