Greens urge Bishop to back on-ground teams to fight Ebola in West Africa

The Greens have called on the Australian government to join the growing international response to the Ebola crisis by sending a large scale on-ground team to West Africa to undertake medical and logistical work.

"The Australian government should be part of the international team that have committed logistical and health personnel to the region," Greens overseas aid spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said.

"While Foreign Minister Julie Minister Bishop might argue that Australia has not been asked to put in a medical team she should take note of WHO chief Dr Ian Norton* who has called for such assistance in West Africa.

"Last week I met Médecins Sans Frontières project co-ordinator Brett Adamson. His reports about how health workers are overwhelmed with patients, the large numbers of orphaned children and so much personal hardship, reinforced that the Australian government needs to immediately join the international response.

"Australia has a responsibility to play its part in this massive health and social crisis by joining the teams from Britain, China, the USA and Cuba.

"We have had a commendable record of helping the Philippines after Typhon Haiyan and Indian rim countries after the 2004 tsunami. Now is the time to extend our support to West Africa," Senator Rhiannon said.