CTF to Sierra Leone
Camillian volunteers operating a medical facility in the flood-hit Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir.

Four Christian missionaries from Asia are preparing to fly to Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone, as international agencies are scrambling to gather manpower to fight the deadly virus.

The Order of St Camillus, a Catholic congregation dedicated to the service of the sick, is getting ready to send its volunteers to the west African country on the invitation of the diocese of Makeni in Sierra Leone, where 121 fatalities were reported on a single day.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the Ebola outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and underscored the need for coordination among global aid agencies in dealing with the epidemic.

However, the most difficult task has been gathering adequate manpower.

Several religious volunteers are ready to go to the affected countries to help treat the patients and support the coordinated relief efforts of governments and international agencies.

Many had gone already and got hit by the virus and died -- but many more are waiting to join the 'army of love', completely aware of the risks.

Two members of the Camillian Order from India are planning to reach the west African country in October. Fr Aris Mirinda from the Philippines is already on the way and is completing the necessary formalities in Italy.

"We have got the invitation. We are ready to go and do the service as that is what Jesus has called us for," Fr Baby Ellickal, head of the Camillians in India, told IBTimes UK.

Two members are processing their applications to go immediately and two others are preparing to join them next month.

"But we have to complete many steps before reaching there. We pray that everything will fall in place in time," said Fr Baby, who heads the Camillian Task Force (CTF) in India which operates in disaster-hit areas.

The CTF is currently working in the northern Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir where severe floods have killed hundreds of people, destroyed vast areas and displaced thousands of people.

"Our first trip will be to assess the situation there," Fr Anthony Kunnel, one of the priests who is in the first list, told IBTimes UK.

"One of us will be in charge of overall assessment and logistics, one will take care of psycho-social needs and the other will assess the medical requirements," he said.

Another member in the first list is Brother Madhu Babu, who is the director of the HIV/AIDS Care Centre in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad.

The two preparing to fly to Sierra Leone in November are Fr Siby Kaitharan and Fr Teji Thomas.

The authorities are asking those who treat the Ebola-affected people to undergo WHO's special training on clinical management and water and sanitation.

As part of the course, the trainees have to work in a mock Ebola treatment unit for thorough understanding of the procedure before getting into the real work field.

"We too will take the course," said Fr Siby. "Our priority will be to provide water and sanitation services, arrangement and operation of mobile clinics to go around and identify affected people and to open isolation units," he added.

Fr Natale Paganelli, the Apostolic Administrator of Makeni Diocese, said he has arranged the Regional House of the Xaverian missionaries in Makeni city for his guests from Asia.

But those who go know that nothing will be easy.

Everything hinges on official formalities and a number of approvals to be collected before hitting the ground zero.

According to a WHO statement, the number of Ebola cases in the affected countries stood at more than 3,000, with over 1,400 deaths as on 27 August. An unprecedented number of health care workers have also been infected and died in the outbreak.

The agency also says that at any stage, the actual number of cases could 2-4 times that of the reported ones.

The WHO estimate is that the total number of EVD (Ebola Virus Decease) cases could rise to 20,000 over the course of the emergency.