Glenn Keys and Aspen Medical - from West Africa to the Southern Seas

Nic Crowther
Fri 05 Jun

ACT Australian of the Year and Chair of the Canberra Business Chamber, Glenn Keys, appeared on ABC Radio National Breakfast this morning to provide an update on Aspen Medical’s activities in West Africa as part of the Australian Government’s response to the recent Ebola outbreak.

With Liberia now Ebola free and Sierra Leone and Guinea now expected to reach the same status in coming months, it signals a great result from a situation where the West was accused of responding far too late.

Speaking with Sheryle Bagwell, keys was proud of the success achieved by Aspen Medical during the six-month contract. In fact, the US Government has signed on Aspen Medical to the end of the year to help ensure Africa remains Ebola-free. “I think it was a huge success. We saved a lot of lives and brought the fatality rate down to almost half of what it was like before we took over.”



Interestingly, the contraction rate of Ebola for medical teams operating across the three countries was around 20%. None of the staff working with Aspen Medical contracted the disease, which in itself is an impressive result.

“We were able to learn a lot from the organisations that had deployed ahead of us – the CDC (Center for Disease Control), MSF (Medecins Sans Frontieres) and WHO (World Health Organization) and develop a highly effective training pack.”

That’s not all for Aspen Medical. The company has been contracted by Australian Customs to work on border control and provide medical staff to patrol boats. When quizzed about whether or not the company would be involved in treating asylum seekers whose boats are being turned back, Mr Keys moved to the broader purpose of their engagement.

“It’s not part of our brief. We’re there to look after all the personnel that are there at sea... You’ve got to remember these patrol boats are at sea for up to 43 days in Southern waters and in some very rough areas, so it’s not uncommon to see some injuries.”



Aspen Medical’s work in Africa has certainly raised the profile of the company. It will be interesting to watch the company’s growth in the coming years off the back of this success.

However, Keys is very sure to position Aspen Medical as a company that supports government rather than replaces key services. It’s a sensible position for a business to take when situated on the doorstep of the Federal Government. He’s got plenty more to say on this balancing act, which can be found at the link below.

ABC Radio National Breakfast