It took two very anxious hours to make contact with my family. It was my 24 year old nephew who rang to inform me that my immediate family were all safe. As I was speaking to him on the phone there was an aftershock, which was very strong. I could hear in his voice how incredibly scared and afraid he was and I tried to reassure him from thousands of miles away.
Today we need to head into Kathmandu and towards the epicentre. Colleagues have children they need to see. And we need to be close to the epicentre to help manage our response. The reports coming in from rural districts around the epicentre are alarming. Our staff are telling us that many, many buildings have collapsed. Homes, schools, hospitals. The hope is that since the earthquake struck on Saturday lunchtime, casualties will be minimised as fewer people would have been in public buildings.
Following my visit, I found that the amazing resilience of the local communities, working alongside truly heroic overseas medical staff and aid workers, had left an overwhelming impression on me. It is thanks to each one of them that Ebola has not reached our shores this time around. But, if the immense poverty in countries like Sierra Leone persists then there is no saying when the next outbreak of Ebola - or something equally horrific - will occur.