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French nurses suffer ‘cruel lack of Ebola' info

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French nurses suffer ‘cruel lack of Ebola' info
A French nurses' union says its members are 'cruelly' uninformed about Ebola. Photo: AFP
11:53 CEST+02:00
A top French nurses union says government silence has resulted in a dangerous lack of information for healthcare workers on how to deal with an Ebola outbreak in France.

In the wake of nurses in the United States and Spain contracting Ebola from patients they were treating, nurses in France are accusing the government of a potentially deadly silence.

“In France professional nurses suffer from a cruel lack of information from the government, health authorities and hospitals,” said a statement from the nurse’s union SNPI. “What do you do when a suspected case comes up?”

Paris has already had two false alarms and researchers have predicted the disease that has killed over 4,000 people in Africa could hit France by the end of October. Also, the virus has to date  killed some 216 health workers fighting against the outbreak.

Union leadership went on to note that nurses were entitled to very limited information during the scare around the H1N1 virus outbreak.

“Only doctors were entitled to specific information, the nurses did get any more information than the general public. We had to get by on our own,” said SNPI Secretary-General Thierry Amouroux in a statement. “Worse, nurses are not even informed when their hospital is a designated treatment site.”

But another nurses’ union totally disagrees with the dark view of France’s preparedness and says workers are prepped and ready to go.

"In the case of a health crisis, we are ready, all the equipment is available. The directives are sent to the facilities, everyone knows the procedures,” Nathalie Depoire, president of the CNI union, told Europe 1 radio.

She added: “We are armed with training on health risks to deal with emergency situations.”

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