Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ebola in my beloved Liberia

The past few weeks have been very nerve-racking due the Ebola outbreak in Guinea that has now spread to Liberia. As many of you know, there is an outbreak of Ebola in Guinea at the moment that has reached crisis levels with over 60 deaths attributed to the disease. You can read more about the outbreak here and here.

Like most countries with porous borders, Ebola outbreak in Guinea means Liberia and Sierra Leone are next in line. Senegal has already shut its border with Guinea to prevent spread of Ebola. Reports have emerged about deaths in northern Liberia from Ebola, particularly in the Foya and Zorzor districts of Lofa County. I fondly remember the time I spent working in the Foya and Zorzor hospitals when I was working in Liberia. Lofa County was my favorite to visit because I could stay at the United Nations battalion stationed in Voinjama. The battalion was Pakistani and it had the best chicken curry and nan I had in West Africa.

Needless to say I was worried about my ex-team members who work in Lofa county. I called/ emailed them and they are all safe as of today. They are disappointed by the response from international community towards containing the disease. Being health care workers, they are worried about the fact that they still do not have adequate personal protective equipment. However, that does not stop them from providing health care for the needy. No matter where I've been in the world I always encounter health care workers who spring in to action regardless of their safety. It is what makes the clinicians a unique class of people. I am proud to be one of them.

I would like to share one of my favorite pictures from Liberia, which was taken in a clinic in Lofa County...which is now the seat of Ebola scare. I am showing one of the nurses how to enter antenatal care data in to the ledger. I miss my staff...

This Ebola scare has brought back so many fond memories of Liberia and concern towards my staff. I will be closely monitoring the developments and pray that the disease is contained and the Guineans/ Liberians/ Sierra Leoneans do not suffer any further.

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