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A doctor who volunteers as a cycle medic is to spend Christmas in Africa helping victims of the Ebola epidemic.

Dr Neil Studd, 27, from Whitechapel, flies out to Sierra Leone on Sunday to join the King’s Sierra Leone Partnership, the London-based team leading the UK’s efforts in the capital Freetown.

Dr Studd (pictured above) has been a cycle responder with St John Ambulance London region’s cycle response unit for almost a decade. He will spend about a month in Sierra Leone treating patients arriving at the isolation unit at Connaught hospital.

There have been more than 7,300 people infected with the killer virus in Sierra Leone, of which about 1,600 have died. It is feared that Ebola cases are continuing to rise in the country.

Dr Studd said: “Watching the story unfold, I realised I had some skills which might help. I am used to working in a fast-paced environment where you need to make decisions very quickly and I’m hoping I will be able to help alleviate some of the suffering.

“It makes missing Christmas seem an irrelevance compared with the suffering people are going through.”

Dr Studd qualified at Bart’s and the London, now known as Barts Health, and currently works in the emergency department at Colchester hospital.

Ashley Sweetland, St John Ambulance manager and its national cycling officer, said: “Neil’s professionalism and dedication to making a difference to others shines through in his work with St John Ambulance. We’re proud to have such a selfless team member.”

See here for an update from Public Health England on the screening of suspected Ebola patients in the UK. A total of 113 tests have been done to date. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ebola-risk-remains-low-as-phe-publishes-first-monthly-ebola-summary