Published On: Fri, Jun 26th, 2015 on 1:25 pm

Doctor honoured for helping tackle Ebola in West Africa

A Bradford doctor is set to become one of the UK’s first recipients of a new medal recognising those who helped tackle Ebola in West Africa.

Professor John Wright

Professor John Wright.

Professor John Wright was among the initial wave of British medics who travelled from the UK to work in the high-risk area of Sierra Leone to try and halt the spread of the deadly disease.

This is the first time a medal has been created specifically to recognise those who have tackled a humanitarian crisis and is in recognition of the highly dangerous environment that workers were required to enter.

Practising taking blood in Ebola saftey suits

Doctors, nurses and medics at a training facility in York. Image: Simon Davis/DFID.

Professor Wright, who is a clinical epidemiologist at Bradford Royal Infirmary and director of Bradford Institute for Health Research, said: “In October last year the world was facing its biggest public health emergency in modern history.

“Staff from the NHS stepped up to be the first volunteers on the frontline of the war against Ebola and I was privileged to join them and the Sierra Leonian doctors and nurses who put their lives at daily risk to contain the deadly epidemic.

“I am honoured to receive this medal as a tribute to the NHS and its values and the people of Sierra Leone.”

The medal is expected to go to over 3,000 people including those in the armed forces, doctors and nurses from the NHS, laboratory specialists and members of the civil service and non-governmental organisations.

Professor Wright will travel to Downing Street next month where Prime Minister David Cameron will host a summer reception to congratulate him and his colleagues in person.

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