Scottish nurse Pauline Cafferkey to return to Sierra Leone

Ebola survivor heads back to Africa to raise money for children affected by 2014 epidemic

Cafferkey, Ebola nurse
(Image credit: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

The British nurse who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone is going back for the first time to the west African country where she caught the deadly disease.

Fife-born Pauline Cafferkey said the trip would give her "closure in a positive way" as she embarks on a visit to raise funds for Ebola survivors and families affected by the virus.

Cafferkey, 41, was working as a volunteer in Sierra Leone in 2014 when the Ebola epidemic killed almost 4,000 people.

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She told the BBC it would be "psychologically important for me to go back".

"That's where things started for me and I've had a terrible couple of years since then, so it'd be good to go back and have things come full circle for me," she said.

"It'll be a little bit of closure, and I want to end it with something good, something positive."

She will be raising funds for Street Child that provides security and education for homeless children in the country. The charity estimates that as many as 12,000 children were orphaned in Sierra Leone by the epidemic.

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Cafferkey was struck down with the disease when she returned to the UK as part of a break in her rota.

There were fears for her life but her condition stabilised by early January 2015 and she was discharged from hospital later that month, "with doctors saying she had completely recovered and was not infectious in any way," reports the Daily Telegraph.

But she has since been readmitted to hospital on three occasions over fears of a recurrence of the disease.

Last September she was charged with misconduct by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) over allegations that she had hidden her high temperature from officials when arriving at Heathrow.

The NMC, "which could have struck her off the nursing register," says The Guardian, later said Cafferkey's judgment had been compromised by her developing illness and so she could not be held responsible for putting the public in danger.

Two nurses who were involved in taking her temperature were suspended for one month and two months respectively over the issue.

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