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Exhibition documents army nursing role in ebola outbreak

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Interviews with an army nurse who contracted ebola feature in a new exhibition at the Imperial War Museum, which details military personnel’s role in combating the disease in Sierra Leone.

The display, which opened today, includes filmed interviews with Corporal Anna Cross talking about what it was like to be diagnosed with ebola and how she coped.

Imperial War Museum

Exhibition documents army nursing role in ebola outbreak

Corporal Anna Cross

Corporal Cross, an army reservist medic with 254 Medical Regiment RAMC, who was the third Briton to contract ebola.

One clip shows Corporal Cross and colleagues singing the “ebola song”, which was performed when patients pulled through.

The high level isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead successfully treated three UK nurses – Will Pooley, Anna Cross and Pauline Cafferkey – after contracting ebola while volunteering in Sierra Leone.

Also on show at the new exhibition are the wellington boots worn by nurse Will Pooley, the first Briton to contract ebola and be evacuated by the RAF.

The exhibition – Fighting Extremes: From Ebola to ISIS –offers a behind-the-scenes insight into two major operations, with many items on show donated by those who served on them.

Imperial War Museum

Exhibition documents army nursing role in ebola outbreak

Wellington boots were worn by Will Pooley

Operation Gridlock saw more than 900 British service personnel sent to Sierra Leone to help fight the ebola epidemic, which claimed more than 10,000 lives.

The display also covers Operation Shader, the British contribution to the fight against extremists in the Middle East, with equipment and footage on show for the first time.

“This exhibition gives the public an opportunity to see at close hand what we ask of our armed forces, the breadth of what they do, their adaptability and the remarkable work they do in the most difficult circumstances,” said armed forces minister Penny Mordaunt.

Imperial War Museum

Exhibition documents army nursing role in ebola outbreak

Source: © Alice Truman

A message painted on a medical checkpoint tent in Sierra Leone, encouraging local people with Ebola symptoms to visit a health facility, September 2014

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