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South Korea to send doctors to Ebola-hit region

October 20, 2014

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea will send doctors, nurses and military officers next month to the West African region hit by Ebola amid growing concerns over the outbreak, the Foreign Ministry said Monday. South Korea has pledged to spend $5.6 million to help curb the virus.

An advance team of government officials will go to Liberia or Sierra Leone in early November to assess conditions and plan for the safety of the South Korean medical workers, ministry official Seo Eun-ji said. Volunteering doctors and nurses and military health care personnel will be sent to one or both of the countries in mid-November, Seo said.

President Park Geun-hye revealed that South Korea would send medical workers while she was meeting with Asian and European leaders in Milan last week.

Oh Young-ju, the foreign ministry’s director general of its development cooperation bureau, said that the medical team sent to West Africa will stay as long as six weeks. She said the government has yet to decide how many personnel would go or if a second medical team would be sent after six weeks.

“We can only send medical professionals who volunteer,” Oh said in a briefing in Seoul. “After evaluating the experience and expertise of those who volunteer, we will be able to determine the size of the team.”

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