A WORCESTERSHIRE mum is asking her children's school to cancel a planned two-week long trip to Tanzania tomorrow, because of the risk from Ebola.
Paul Jackson-Read, headteacher of Great Malvern Primary, and three other teachers are scheduled to fly out to Tanzania on Friday, October 17, to visit the "link school" of Martinshamba, Tanga.
There they will to work on sustainability projects, such as improving water supplies, and they are taking gifts, such a footballs, pencils and rubbers.
Sierra Leone is on the east coast of Africa, while Ebola outbreaks have been affecting west African countries such as Sierra Leone - some 3,500 miles away.
The school insists the trip is safe, but mother of two, Claire Pitt says if it goes ahead, she will keep her children off school for three weeks, when the four teachers return.
She said: "As a parent I am deeply worried. Would you put 320 primary school students at risk instead of postponing the trip?
"Nobody knows this disease really and how it works or truly spreads; this is high risk and there are cases all over the world now . There is no cure , and we are obviously worried as a country as we now take screening on at UK airports."
Mrs Pitt added: "Can the teachers give me a 100% guarantee that my children will be safe when they get back and there is no risk of infection? No. The government or health officials cannot even do this. I need to petition for this trip to be postponed for the safety of our little ones. If this is not the case my children will not be attending school for three weeks; - it can take 22 days incubation - there is no quarantine rule and I will not put my kids at risk.
"If the teachers decide to go ahead I feel they are playing with 'god' and not doing the job they are employed to do , - looking after the children."
Mr Jackson-Read said he "totally understood" the concerns.
He said: "Of course, it is of concern, and if we had been going to the West Coast of Africa, we would have cancelled by now; but the West Coast will be as far away from us as Iraq.
"There is no official negative advice about going to Tanzania. We are following Foreign Office advice that it is still safe to go."
Mr Jackson-Read said that if Mrs Pitt kept her children off school afterwards, they would miss three weeks of education and he added: "I would have to contact the Welfare Officer; I would have no discretion not to."
He pointed out that several other local schools will be sending a delegation to Tanzania link schools at the same time, including a party from Hanley Swan Primary.
Tanzania has been linked to one very recent Ebola case, in the USA.
Rogers Kyaruzi, aged 23, of Atlanta is the second person to be diagnosed with Ebola in America.
He recently returned from a trip to Tanzania and believes he may have contracted Ebola from a prostitute in Tanzania, with whom he had unprotected sex.
Ebola spreads through contact with body fluids, including spittle and vomit.
In September, scientists at Oxford University put Tanzania on the list of 15 African countries that are at a high risk of an Ebola outbreak.