Prince George, BC – UNBC Assistant Professor of Nursing Dr. Greg Thomas-Reilly is joining the international effort to combat the Ebola virus by travelling to Liberia in November to help train local healthcare providers and be part of a rapid response team.
UNBC Assistant Professor of Nursing Greg Thomas-Reilly. Download High Resolution Image.
Thomas-Reilly will be based in Yekepa in northern Liberia near borders with Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire and will work with International SOS a part of their Ebola training and response team.
“I feel compelled to go. This is something I’ve trained for my whole life,” says Thomas-Reilly “It would seem wrong to sit on the sidelines when you’ve spent more than 20 years preparing for situations like this.”
Thomas-Reilly has spent his professional career in the field of communicable diseases and has worked in Africa in the past to help treat and prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. He joined the UNBC faculty in April and will take a leave of absence from his job to help improve the situation in West Africa.
He understands the risks of travelling and working in Liberia, but also knows he can make a difference and help improve the capacity of the local healthcare authorities in dealing with the epidemic.
“I’m fascinated by infectious diseases but I’ve got a good dose of fear of them which I think is necessary,” says Thomas-Reilly. “I wouldn’t want anyone working with me or around me who isn’t humbled and scared of infectious diseases especially those like Ebola.”
Thomas-Reilly is also involved with proactive measures UNBC is taking to educate students, faculty, and staff about Ebola and other communicable diseases. On Wednesday he participated in an Ebola and Influenza seminar on campus.