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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 12:51 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:42 am
Posts: 56044
Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA
Ebola victims must be cremated, Liberian government says
Growing alarm in Monrovia at rapid spread of the disease

By Harriet Alexander2:47PM BST 04 Aug 2014

Monrovia’s overcrowded and understaffed Elwa Hospital has had to turn away Ebola cases this week.
In the densely-populated Monrovia district of Clara Town – which was already known for its poor sanitary facilities – two Ebola victims were left to lie on the street for four days, in 28-degree heat, when no one would dare to take them to hospital.
Nema Red, a resident of Clara Town, told Reuters that the two men who lay dead in the street for days had shown symptoms of Ebola such as bleeding and vomiting.
“They started seeking help from the community to take them to the hospital, but community members ran for their lives,” she said. “They both gave up and dropped dead on the ground in the streets of Clara Town.
Mr Brown confirmed the bodies had been collected – but said they had only been there for a few hours.
“They have been removed,” he said, adding their houses would be fumigated and relatives placed under surveillance.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... -says.html


PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:15 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:42 am
Posts: 56044
Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA
Ebola Outbreak Feeds on Fear, Anger, Rumors
MONROVIA, Liberia — Aug 3, 2014, 10:56 AM ET

By CARIELLE DOE via World News

As the number of new infections and deaths rise in the Ebola outbreak, fear and suspicion is rising, too, making it more difficult for health care workers to get the sick into hospitals, even as increasingly angry crowds are calling for more government action.

The growing chaos caused by this current Ebola outbreak, which is already the worst on record with more than 1,300 infected and 700 dead in three countries in West Africa, was witnessed by ABC News in Clara Town, a low income community in the Bushrod Island area of Monrovia.

On UN Drive, a car with police in riot gear slowly crossed the Gabriel Tucker bridge to go onto Bushrod Island.

Some minutes later, those officers were standing on a median looking at a group of mostly young men holding homemade signs that read, "Govt please come to our aid in Clara Town"

The men explained that community members had called the Health Ministry to come pick up the body of a man who had been dead in his home since Thursday. Late Friday or early Saturday, a woman had died in the same neighborhood, and she was also still in her home. Both were suspected Ebola deaths, and the protesters wanted the government to remove them.

A man in the crowd said that since they called the government on Thursday, workers had come to examine the scene, but they had not returned. He said that if the government did not respond to the request of community members to remove the bodies, there would be serious consequences.

"From Monday, the entire Clara Town will be right here. No car will go into town, trust us," he said.

UN Drive is a hub of activity, and it is the main road that leads from many different parts of Bushrod Island into central Monrovia.

Fred D. Weah, a young man who seemed to be a leader of the group, led chants about the youth of Clara Town protecting their neighborhood and not being afraid of the police. The protesters chanted about not wanting any brutality, but said they would return it if it was inflicted upon them.


PHOTO: A young man holds a sign at a protest about the delayed removal of a suspected Ebola victim who had died in Clara Town, Liberia, on Thursday. On Saturday morning, community members learned that the dead mans neighbor had also died.
Carielle Doe/ABC News

PHOTO: A young man holds a sign at a protest about the delayed removal of a suspected Ebola victim who had died in Clara Town, Liberia, on Thursday. On Saturday morning, community members learned that the dead man's neighbor had also died.

As the chants got louder and the group got bigger, the riot police crossed the street and asked the protesters to move back from the road and onto the sidewalk. Some of them yelled at the police, but they moved back onto the sidewalk.

A protester said that he and the others were standing on the road because Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf had driven that way and they wanted to draw attention to what was happening in Clara Town.


PHOTO: Liberian police in riot gear ask protesters in the Clara Town section of Monrovia to step back onto the sidewalk.
Carielle Doe/ABC News

When they heard that an ambulance had arrived in Clara Town, the group moved down UN Drive and turned onto a dirt road. The women in the Clara Town market looked on as protesters and journalists walked down the road towards the neighborhood where the two people had died.

Dozens of people stood on both sides of an ambulance, watching as two health care workers put on protective suits.

They painstakingly checked and rechecked their suits and their disinfecting equipment, and they left the group, spraying the dirt as they walked the narrow path between houses. They passed a small concrete house with a yellow wooden window, and stopped to recheck their gear at a forest green home on the left. A young man said that those were the homes of the dead.

The health care workers joined three men waiting outside of the house and as the men stood back, the workers knocked on the red metal door. Someone opened the door and the workers spoke to the person.

After some time, the people in the house closed the door and the workers turned away.

As the health care workers were walking away, a man in a white shirt with blue stripes told someone on the phone that the health workers could not do anything to make the sick people leave the home, and that of course they would be afraid to attempt to forcibly remove them.

"They said they are afraid, they'll not feed them. That's the rumor coming," said Ezekiel Kumeh, the man in the striped shirt. "People say they're not feeding them, they're not eating, you know? So they say if they go there they will die from hunger."

Many health care workers and aid workers have said one cause for the rapid spread of the Ebola virus is the public's general mistrust of the government. Among the rumors about this disease:

Ebola does not exist and government workers are using it as an excuse to steal organs to sell on the black market.
The government is pretending Liberia has Ebola so they'll have an opportunity to receive and then abuse donated funds.
If a person goes to the hospital with a disease that has symptoms that mirror those of Ebola, such as malaria, that person will end up getting Ebola from the hospital.
Medical staffers are so afraid to catch Ebola, they neglect patients in the quarantine unit and let them starve to death.
Because of the noxious fumes that come from the solution workers use to spray affected areas, some people believe the spray is meant to kill them, and they don't want workers to come into their communities.

Rumors such as the ones listed above overshadow the work done by the overextended aid workers and local medical professionals who risk their lives on the front lines of the battle against Ebola. Fear and mistrust has caused some community members to sometimes react violently to the arrival of medical professionals in their communities.

Well-meaning government and aid workers have said they have been attacked on trips to collect potential Ebola victims from their communities. Though rumors make it difficult and dangerous for aid workers to do their jobs, one of them has even been repeated among health care professionals.

A nurse who wanted to remain nameless said she has heard from other nurses that some staffers avoided an Ebola patient in a Monrovia hospital and he starved to death. This would be difficult to confirm, but the rumor of death by starvation has spread widely.

Back in Clara Town, the health care workers stood near the red metal gate and convinced Kumeh that Ebola patients in the treatment centers receive three meals a day, so he said he would go back and talk to the people in the house, his sister, brother, and a family friend.

He went back to the house and tried to get the people inside to open up.

Nobody opened the door and when Kumeh finally asked if they would be okay and if he should leave, he paused, heard an answer, and then said, "Isaac, I want to hear your voice."

A male voice responded in muffled tones and Kumeh replied, "No, they say they're carrying you all to the hospital."

The person inside the house then said, "No."

Kumeh frowned and said, "Annie, I don't like what you all are doing, I don't like what you're doing to me."

With a metal door blocking his way, Kumeh eventually gave up and yelled, "All right, the people are going."

About 20 meters from the house, Kumeh said, "They're in there and for me I can't even go there."

"There's a boundary between they and I so there's nothing I can do," he said. "It's not easy. Lost mother, lost a cousin, and then brother and sister are almost at the point of death and they're refusing to go seek medication. ... We're just going to leave it with God, there's nothing we can do more than this."

He pursed his lips and looked at the ground.

Near the open area in front of the homes that held the dead, a small crowd of people had gathered to find out what was going on. The health workers and Kumeh explained what had happened.

"This is government business," an elderly man said. "If they stay here, they will make plenty [of] people sick."

On Tuesday, at the second meeting of the Ebola Task force created by President Sirleaf last weekend, people raised concerns about the slow retrieval of bodies of Ebola victims. What happened in Clara Town on Saturday served as evidence that the collection of bodies is still a problem.

When community members saw that the health care workers had returned to the ambulance empty-handed, the scene quickly descended into chaos. Medical workers looked on as young men placed tables in front of their truck and told them that they would not allow them to leave.

The crowd had grown, and though most of the people there were quiet onlookers, there was a group of angry young men who loudly insisted that something happen.

"This car will not leave here without carrying anybody," one man said.


PHOTO: After a Liberian Ebola response team tried and failed to convince three potential patients to go to a treatment center with them, some angry people blocked the ambulance and insisted they would not allow the team to leave without the sick people.
Carielle Doe/ABC News

Another man told the health care workers that they either take the bodies or the sick, but they would not be permitted to leave Clara Town empty-handed.

The men who had stood on UN Drive and said they wanted a peaceful protest tried but could do little to calm the angry group who had blocked the path of the ambulance.

The health care workers occasionally tried reasoning with the crowd, and at other times they just sat in their vehicle, unable to drive away. These men were now bearing the brunt of a community's frustration with a government many said they felt wasn't doing enough to protect them from a deadly virus.

In the past week, the government of Liberia has begun to enact some solid measures to contain the virus that has been spreading for months. Last Sunday, President Sirleaf held the first meeting of a National Ebola Task force. In the second task force meeting last Tuesday, many attendees said that the fight against Ebola could only be won by a joint effort of the affected countries and the larger international community.

"It really is beyond the capacity of the government of Liberia to control this outbreak," said a high-level diplomat at the Tuesday meeting.

With more than 700 dead, the current Ebola epidemic is the largest to date, according to the World Health Organization. The containment of this outbreak is proving to be a seemingly insurmountable task for the government of Liberia to handle on its own.

Because hospitals were the locations in which the Ebola virus seemed to be spreading the most easily, some of them have temporarily shut their doors to the public.

As of Saturday, two out of four of Liberia’s major hospitals - John F. Kennedy and Saint Joseph’s Catholic Hospital - are no longer accepting patients and some smaller clinics have shut down as well. There are reports that the ELWA hospital emergency room was temporarily closed.

The closures have dealt a severe blow to Liberia’s already struggling health system, leaving many citizens of Monrovia concerned about where they could go for emergency care. For now, smaller clinics and hospitals are bearing the weight of treating the country's citizens.

President Sirleaf has appealed for help from the international community, and in a speech on Wednesday, Sirleaf announced the creation of a National Action Plan that would mobilize the Liberian government to curb the spread of Ebola.

“We have announced a number of stringent preventive measures, issued standing orders to our security forces and restricted movements internally and externally. We will continue to do more as the situation requires,” she said.

Sirleaf requested that people avoid gathering in large groups, as that is a means by which the Ebola virus could potentially spread. But on Saturday evening in Clara Town, in response to what many deemed the government's sluggish response to their request, the community members did just that.

"You're protected more than me," a man yelled repeatedly at a health care worker.

Later, the same worker tried to talk to another man and told him, "Your patient locked the door, how do you expect us to enter?"

The man replied that the Ebola team should have called the police.

"There's an iron gate there, you're not expecting us to burst the door," the worker argued.

As the light began to fade in Clara Town, the worker expressed frustration about the fact that this incident was preventing him from doing his job.

"We've got so many cases all over. They're calling us," he said.

This type of situation can have a multiplying effect, as delays such as this one could cause health care workers to miss other appointments and cause other community members to become incensed and react in ways similar to the people of Clara Town.

At the Task Force Meeting on Tuesday, a senior official from the Ministry of Health said that citizens contribute to the problem of the slow retrieval of bodies in another way because they call the Ministry to pick up the bodies of people who haven’t died from Ebola, and this distracts the removal teams from their actual mission.

Amidst the noise in Clara Town, the health worker who had tried to reason with the crowd said he had called the Ministry of Health and that they were sending a vehicle to pick up the two bodies.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/ebola-outb ... ePage=true


PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 5:25 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:42 am
Posts: 56044
Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA
No Food For Ebola Victims…West Point, Dolo Town To Be Quarantined

Posted on August 15, 2014 by demo demo in Featured, Liberian News
No Food
By Morrison O. G. Sayon

Amidst positive news of the survival of persons affected by the Ebola virus, latest report says victims at the ELWA Ebola Isolation Center are leaving the camp due to lack of food.

Disclosing this at the National Ebola Task Force Meeting held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Monrovia yesterday, Health Minister, Walter Gwenigale, said he had received several calls from the center that the people are hungry and need food.

According to Dr. Gwenigale, based on this latest report, most of the victims are now leaving the center which is a major threat to several communities in which those leaving are going. “I’m getting calls every day of the lack of food; the people say they are hungry and I understand that there is food there but I’m getting these calls every minute,” Liberia’s Health Minister Gwenigale said.

In quick clarification, Assistant Health Minister for Preventive Services, Tolbert Nyenswah, said food is available at the various Isolation Camps but those who are making the calls may need special diet. Nyenswah said the victims are being provided meal three times daily adding that the callers are the higher-ups who may need special kind of diet.

Minister Nyenswah promised that an investigation will be launched into the complaint by the Ebola victims and solution be found in addressing the issue. He also disclosed that the Ministry of Health has received seven tons of food from the World Health Organization (WHO) for those quarantined at the various isolation centers.

At the same time, the Presidential Task Force on Ebola is considering quarantining the densely populated community of West Point in Monrovia and Dolo Town in Margibi County. West Point is a slum populated community with an estimated population of over 20,000 inhabitants, while in Dolo Town report says at least 25 persons have died due to strange circumstances.

At the meeting yesterday, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf proposed to the Task Force the isolation of West Point and Dolo Town. The two highly populated communities have reported high rate of Ebola deaths in recent times. The task force is also considering the closing of the Waterside General Market to stop affected persons from leaving the community.

Due to the rapid spread of Ebola in the country, the Ministry of Health opened one holding center in a household in West Point on Wednesday. The Ministry is planning to open2-3 more in the next few days based upon protocols designed by MSF and the Case management team, to isolate and hold patients before moving them to the JFK or ELWA.

President Sirleaf reasoned that to isolate West Point and densely populated areas is a difficult task but the Task Force must consider and study the situation before making final decision on the issue. At the same time, the Task Force also wants the Duala Market to be cleared so as to avoid those in the Duala area from contracting the virus.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister, Brownie Samukai has called on Government to begin taking some drastic measures to stop further spread of the Ebola virus that is killing hundreds of Liberians on a daily basis. Samukai said sternly that West Point must be quarantined with the closure of the market and that another densely populated area of Duala be cleared.

The Defense Minister said if these steps are not taken, the virus will continue to spread and claim more lives in the coming days and months. He added, “If you can’t contain those areas, you can’t resolve the problem.”

Other members of the Task Force are calling for the imposition of curfew to stop the movement of individuals in various communities. They also want Ebola message being played on radios to be changed as the right messages are not being sent out to the public.

http://monroviainquirer.com/2014/08/15/ ... arantined/


PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 6:56 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:42 am
Posts: 56044
Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA
Emergency Health Coordinator, Monrovia

JOB from International Rescue Committee
Closing date: 15 Oct 2014

The International Rescue Committee, one of the world's largest humanitarian agencies, provides relief, rehabilitation and post-conflict reconstruction support to victims of natural disaster, oppression and violent conflict in 42 countries. The IRC is committed to bold leadership, innovation and creative partnerships. Active in public health, education, livelihoods, women's empowerment, youth development, and protection and promotion of rights, IRC assists people from harm to home.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is unprecedented in scale and in the response required. No previous outbreak has had as many confirmed cases, or as wide of a geographic spread. The situation is complicated by the porous nature of the regions' borders, inaccessibility of the terrain and the presence of multiple active sites of transmission. The outbreak in Liberia started in March 2014 and has rapidly spread due to pourous borders, insufficient contact tracing, community fears and misperceptions. The government has instituted a 90 state of emergency, has closed borders and deployed its military personnel to assist in the containment. To date, 498 cases have been either confirmed, probable or suspected, most of them originating from Lofa and Montserrado Counties.

Currently, the IRC response to the Ebola outbreak has included coordination and collaboration (with co-chairing of the Ebola intervention committee meetings in Zorzor and Salayea districts, providing technical advise to the Lofa County Ebola task force and supporting the Lofa County Health Team (Lofa CHT) in preparing contingency plans for the Ebola intervention activities), surveillance and contact tracing ( with provision of community health staff to Lofa CHT to lead and be part of the contact tracing teams, provision of gasoline to district health offices for case follow up as well as health information management), case management ( provision of medical staff to Lofa CHT to lead case management, training of health staff in Salayea, Zorzor, Voinjama and Kolahun districts, distribution of infection control materials and other medical supplies to 40 health facilities in Lofa County as well as fuel support for transportation of suspected and confirmed cases as well as for the burial team), as well as social mobilization and psychosocial support ( with community awareness raising and health education in health facilities in Salayea, Zorzor and Voinjama districts and provision of transport for awareness raising teams to visit various communities.

SCOPE OF WORK: The Emergency Health Coordinator (EHC) will be the focal point for health programs in Liberia, specifically taking the lead on the Liberia country program Ebola response apart from overseeing other health activities implemented by the IRC in Liberia. The position is based in Monrovia with regular trips to IRC's health programs throughout Liberia. The EHC will receive technical support from the Technical Advisor Health Programs.

Support to Ebola response in Liberia

Represent the IRC at the national and county level for Ebola response; coordinate and collaborate with MoHSW, WHO, MSF and other INGOs to identify gaps in the response, advocate and coordinate for activities to improve the effectiveness of the strategy.

Provide technical recommendations to the MoHSW at the district level to improve clinical case management, disease surveillance, social mobilization, and coordination
Update the IRC Ebola team with pertinent information on alerts and progress of the outbreak as well as provide training for staff on preventive measures as needed.
Work closely with the senior staff of the Health, WPE and other sectors to address any non-health interventions and advise in relation to the Ebola response.
Work with the Country Director on the development of new proposals for the Ebola response.
Provide technical support to the refugee program with the implementation of their ongoing health programs, Ebola contingency planning and response.
Work with the IRC Senior Management team in Liberia and advise on contingency planning as the Ebola outbreak evolves.

Coordination of IRC health program activities in Liberia

The EHC will provide leadership, strategic vision and technical support to all aspects of the Health program.

The EHC will over see the proper management of the programs, grants and human resources under the health sector.
The EHC will maintain regular contact with all partners, including the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW), UN agencies and other NGOs
The EHC supervises other health staff, ensuring a high quality of program delivery by IRC health programs in Liberia.
The EHC will ensure delivery of health program activities in a timely fashion, identifying new areas for program expansion and improvement as well as input on proposal development and report writing.
The EHC will ensure that the health program is implemented in accordance with established Ministry of Health and international protocols, guidelines and best practices.

Medical Doctor with experience in infectious disease control and/or holding public health qualifications (i.e., MPH, DrPH, PhD, etc), with at least 10 years of experience implementing public health programs on communicable diseases in humanitarian emergencies. Experience with primay health care and reproductive health programs is an asset.
Experience of working in an emergency context. Demonstrated experience in responding (i.e., case management, case identification and contact tracing, surveillance, social mobilization and/or logistics) to Ebola or other viral hemorrhagic fevers is preferred. Responses to epidemic diseases in developing countries are also relevant (i.e. outbreaks of meningitis, measles, cholera etc).
Demonstrated knowledge of public health and surveillance practices. Experience with reinforcing infection control in health facilities is an asset.
Extensive experience as a coordinator with strong management and training capacity in developing countries.
Background in situation analysis, health assessments and program implementation; Experience implementing health programming in hard to reach areas/displaced communities
Experience in capacity building and mentoring of health staff; Demonstrated leadership, communication, and facilitation skills; Excellent interpersonal and problem-solving skills.
Willingness to travel extensively in Liberia
Excellent computer skills in programs such as: MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint.
Additional qualities: ability to multitask, ability to handle pressure well, ability to improvise, be flexible , and adaptability to transitions.
How to apply:
Please follow this link to apply: http://www.aplitrak.com/?adid=a2ltbC41N ... HJhay5jb20


PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 6:59 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:42 am
Posts: 56044
Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA
Ebola Doctors With No Rubber Gloves
On the front lines of the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, health-care workers believe its toll on their own staffs could be mitigated if only they had enough basic hospital supplies such as gloves

Aug. 15, 2014 6:35 p.m. ET
SERGEANT KOLLIE TOWN, Liberia—Rubber gloves were nearly as scarce as doctors in this part of rural Liberia, so Melvin Korkor would swaddle his hands in plastic grocery bags to deliver babies.

His staff didn't bother even with those when a woman in her 30s stopped by complaining of a headache. Five nurses, a lab technician—then a local woman who was helping out—cared for her with their bare hands.

Within weeks, all of them died. The woman with a headache, they learned too late, had Ebola.

Somewhere in the workplace exchange of handshakes and sweat, Dr. Korkor caught the virus, too. For five days, he read the Bible on a cot in an Ebola ward, watching his colleagues bleed to death from a disease they weren't equipped or trained to treat. Across the room, a nurse pregnant with what would have been her third child slipped away. "She told me 'Doc, I'm dying,' " he recalled Kou Gbanjah saying.

Though Dr. Korkor survived, his hospital has closed, as have dozens of other health centers in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. It is a devastating setback for countries facing a range of deadly diseases in addition to Ebola. The World Health Organization estimates the region's Ebola outbreak has killed 1,145 people, roughly half the 2,127 believed to have been infected. West African countries that had only begun to climb out from civil war and poverty have slipped into economic disarray.

Much of this toll could have been avoided or at least mitigated, hospital workers on the front lines say, if they had been provided with medical basics, starting with one of the simplest: disposable rubber gloves.

Instead, health workers have been treating many patients with unprotected hands, greatly increasing the risk the Ebola virus will kill the very professionals trying to fight it.

As of Tuesday, at least 36 health workers in Liberia had died from the disease, according to health ministry records. Many who have caught but survived the virus are traumatized, as are colleagues, and may prove difficult to coax back to work.

Their absence is deeply felt. Even before Ebola, Liberia—with just 51 doctors for four million people—had the second-fewest physicians per person on Earth, after Tanzania, according to the WHO.

Hospital staff members throughout Liberia, including at Dr. Korkor's Phebe Hospital, have gone on strike until the government meets their demands. They want rubber gloves, safety goggles, protective suits, life insurance and a fivefold pay increase for the hazardous work. The government has said it plans to meet those requests.

In the meantime, because doctors aren't at work, other diseases besides Ebola are going untreated. As a result, those ailments—chiefly typhoid and dysentery—may be killing more West Africans than Ebola, according to the United Nations Children's Fund.

Hospitals across the region have closed at the peak of malaria season. Meningitis, measles and polio vaccinations are on hold, said Liberia's information minister, Lewis Brown.

In countries with some of the world's highest rates of death during childbirth, women are having babies at home. They aren't bringing in children for check-ups in Liberia, a nation where nearly half of children are malnourished, according to Unicef.

It is an unprecedented toll for a viral illness first identified in 1976, which cropped up eight months ago in Guinea and quickly spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone. The virus is spread chiefly through contact with bodily fluids. It begins with vague feverish symptoms that could be due to any number of ailments, until patients worsen and often begin bleeding from their eyes, nose and mouth.

There is no approved vaccine or treatment, although two American health-care workers infected in Liberia have been treated with an experimental drug. The Liberian government ordered three courses of the drug to give to some ill doctors.

A Liberian clinic called Dolo Town Health Center shut down last month when it ran out of gloves and left staff members to choose between treating Ebola patients bare-handed or leaving, said MacFarland Keraulah, a physician's assistant. The clinic had received only one glove delivery since April, and it was a single box of 50 pairs.

Since the staff walked off, 37 people have died of Ebola in that area, two hours outside the Liberian capital of Monrovia. Seven were health workers at another now-closed health center, according to workers.

Both clinics are in a 200-square-mile forest of rubber trees. "We are sitting inside one of the world's largest rubber plantations, and people are dying because we don't have gloves," Mr. Keraulah said.

Liberia's government said it didn't provide enough materials early on because it is still recovering from a 14-year civil war that ended in 2003 with both the federal coffers and hospital shelves left bare.

More recently, health funding faced opposition from lawmakers who believed Ebola was a scam perpetuated to draw aid money. In a heated congressional debate in May, one legislator called the virus "that thing you did to get donor funding," according to Liberia's FrontPage Africa newspaper.

Such sentiments were common within the government, said Tolbert Nyenswah, assistant health minister. "Even senior government officials were in denial, so it did not receive the political will," he said.

Some officials blame the shortage on another epidemic: corruption in the civil service, something that Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has complained about during her eight years in office. Many workers on the government payroll earn as little as $5 a day. A government devastated by years of civil strife doesn't have the record-keeping skills to make sure its own members don't steal supplies, said Mr. Brown, the information minister.

"I don't think the government of Liberia has reached a point where it cannot afford gloves," said Marcus Speare, district superintendent of Liberia's Margibi County. "We have to look at where these things go after the government has made its appropriation.... We will launch an investigation to find out."

Now, the government faces the task of getting health-care workers back on the job. It has sent priests and politicians to speak with them.

This week, China donated 10,000 protective suits. But training workers at far-flung clinics in how to don them and take them off could take several weeks, according to Liberia's health ministry.

Other basic supplies remain stretched, ranging from plastic sheeting to painkillers to ambulances, said Mr. Nyenswah, the assistant health minister.

In the capital, the government is trying to turn some empty school classrooms into holding centers for people with symptoms suggesting Ebola. But workers don't have enough bedding, Mr. Nyenswah said.

Sitting at a desk stacked with papers waiting to be signed, Mr. Nyenswah shouted into a phone call with an aid agency: "I need 20 mattresses like yesterday!"

Shortages are something Dr. Korkor learned to work around.

In the four years he ran Phebe Hospital in rural Liberia, Dr. Korkor got used to treating patients without painkillers, anti-parasite drugs, test tubes or even scrubs. "We had to improvise," said a nurse, Martha Morris.

The staff members reused the few rubber gloves they had, and put them on only to treat the sickest patients.

On July 3, the staff realized that the woman they had been handling with bare hands wasn't a local villager with a headache. She was an Ebola patient who had broken out of a hospital about 100 miles away under circumstances that are still unclear. By July 15, the woman had died.

So had three nurses.

Days later, Dr. Korkor felt a chill rush through his body. He locked himself in a bedroom away from his family until a blood test returned—positive for Ebola. A car took him to an Ebola ward in the capital.

The room smelled of bleach, blood and vomit, he said. Most of the roughly 15 patients inside appeared to be health workers, including the man dying next to him in their two-cot cubicle.

One morning, Dr. Korkor realized he was lying across from the chief doctor at the country's top hospital, Samuel Brisbane, under whom he had done his residency. "He said, 'My son, you're here?' " Dr. Korkor recalled. "I said, 'Yes, Doc.' "

Dr. Brisbane died the next day, his obituary displayed prominently on front pages of the country's newspapers. He probably contracted Ebola giving a patient cardiopulmonary resuscitation without a pair of gloves, said Wvanne McDonald, chief executive officer of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center, where Dr. Brisbane worked.

For the next three days, Dr. Korkor forced down balls of rice and, by his count, drank 24 bottles of water—one every hour. Finally, he felt his chills disappear and his hunger rebound with ferocity. After a blood test and four showers in bleach-spiked water, the staff let him leave.

On a recent Tuesday morning, chickens were clucking in the yard at his home as he sat in a chair under a tree. "Ebola-free!" he laughed over the phone to a friend.

The ordeal, though, has left him torn. He can stay in Liberia and risk his life to fight the outbreak—on a $1,000-a-month paycheck—or try to move his family to America, to work his way up a hospital system that hasn't collapsed.

He glanced at the porch, where his wife, daughter, two sons, mother-in-law, niece and niece's daughter was hanging about. "If I'm going to die, God forbid, who's going to take care of them?" he asked.

If he stays in Liberia, Dr. Korkor said, he is going to need a great deal more supplies. He isn't going back to work until he gets them. "This time around, we're not going to improvise," he said.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/ebola-do ... 1408142137


PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 7:27 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:42 am
Posts: 56044
Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA
Without Hope Of Help, Neighbors Turn To Makeshift Ebola Quarantine

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 7:02 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has crippled the healthcare system in Liberia. Hospitals have shut and people have few other places to turn for medical care. The Ministry of Health is so overwhelmed there are sometimes long waits for ambulances to pick up suspected Ebola patients. In some communities, residents have set up their own quarantines of families believed to be infected with the virus. NPR's Jason Beaubien found one instance of that in the capital Monrovia.

JASON BEAUBIEN, BYLINE: Two weeks ago, a young woman died in an area called Perry Town on the edge of Monrovia. And soon after that, the other six members of her family started to get sick. One of their neighbors, Amadu Sarnor, says the community told everyone in the family to stay inside their house. And Sarnor says for more than a week, he and others called the health ministry to try to get help for the family.

AMADU SARNOR: We try. We called. We call the hotline - four, four, five, five, one, triple three.

BEAUBIEN: But he says the family was deteriorating rapidly. Some of them could no longer walk. Sarnor says that over the two weeks that the family was under the community's quarantine, neighbors brought them food, juices and water. He says they placed the supplies in the driveway and then back out of the yard. The family used a cell phone to tell them what they needed.

SARNOR: We stood here right under the tree and asked everybody - nobody should go in our house. Remain there. Anything you want, you call.

BEAUBIEN: Despite repeated calls for medical help, no one came. Finally on Wednesday, an ambulance arrived. But by that time, the 15-year-old son in the family was already dead. The other five members of the family were evacuated to the Ebola isolation ward in Monrovia. The body of the teenager was left inside the house. An investigation team from the Liberian Ministry of Health finally makes it to the site. Two men completely covered in white Tyvek suits, facemasks and goggles go in to take a blood sample from the corpse.

HARRY M. PAASEWE: Stay away from that place. Stay away for now.

BEAUBIEN: One of their coworkers, Harry M. Paasewe, warns a crowd of onlookers not to go into the house until it's disinfected by a spray team.

PAASEWE: We tell them to stay away from that house until they spray it again - spray the house and until the team will come and to certify that place is good.

BEAUBIEN: The team takes a blood sample from the dead teenager, but to the anger of the neighbors, leaves the body where it lay. Paasewe tells them another vehicle will come to retrieve the corpse. Sarnor, who'd been involved in bringing food to the sick family, says it's outrageous that the team was leaving the potentially contagious body in his neighborhood for another day.

SARNOR: Because the door is open, we don't know what go in or is going to come out and spread all over our community. That's our fear.

BEAUBIEN: He says over the two weeks that the neighbors conducted their quarantine of the family, everyone was very careful except for one woman. One of the six people inside the house was a baby. Sarnor says a woman arrived who said she was a relative. She insisted on bathing the baby on the front stoop and changing the infants soiled clothes. When the Ministry of Health team finally showed up, they asked them to find her and arrest her and get her some help.

SARNOR: So when team came, we sent to go and arrest her to go take a test and start taking early treatment so it can't bother her and her family.

BEAUBIEN: But now they can't find the woman and no one knows where she went. Even before the Ministry of Health forensic team leaves the house, two young men arrive saying there's another body that's been sitting in another house down the road for three days. The health workers shrug. The collection of bodies is done by another crew. They tell the boys to call the Ebola Hotline and promised that someone will come to pick up the corpse eventually. Jason Beaubien, NPR News, Monrovia. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

http://wuwm.com/post/without-hope-help- ... quarantine


PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 7:34 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:42 am
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA
Liberia Becomes Epicenter Of West Africa Ebola Crisis

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 7:38 am


We'll report now on the spread of the Ebola virus as it looks from the country that is most affected right now. In recent weeks, Liberia has reported the largest number of cases. It is also a country from which the virus has spread. A traveler from Liberia carried the virus to Nigeria. NPR's Jason Beaubien is on a balcony overlooking Liberia's capital Monrovia. And Jason, what have you been seeing as you've moved about that city?

JASON BEAUBIEN, BYLINE: Well, I've been seeing that Ebola is really dominating life here at the moment. When you look around, every shop has a small barrel out front with a little tap on the bottom of it where you can wash your hands as you go in and out. People are very concerned about Ebola. It's dominating the government and its dominating the press, it's dominating the people. There was a state of emergency declared last week. Schools are closed, nonessential employees have all been sent home. And, you know, I think as you can hear, it's still a busy, bustling West African capital city. But people are telling me it's less busy, less bustling than it was before Ebola started to hit here.

INSKEEP: Well, I guess I'm wondering if it is quiet enough to stop the spread of this virus and we'll remember that the main way to stop its spread is to simply avoid too much contact with those affected. Are they getting things under control?

BEAUBIEN: Probably the answer to that is no. When you look at the number of new cases, things just continue to go up and up here. Just on Sunday, which is the last day that I have figures for, there were 51 new admissions to a single isolation unit in Lofa county. That's really, you know, a staggering number. It does not feel at all like this is getting under control.

INSKEEP: The county you mentioned, is that the area that's most affected by this virus right now in Liberia?

BEAUBIEN: That's right, that's the most affected County. It's the one that goes right up against Sierra Leone and Guinea where the outbreak initially started and had spread into Liberia from there. So that is the most affected county, in the northwest corner of Liberia.

INSKEEP: Does this disease - as far as you can tell - the idea of this disease really get to people, get into their heads, affect their daily thoughts and actions?

BEAUBIEN: It does. People are really terrified of it. And there's also been, you know, a lot of rumors, a lot of misinformation. There's been accusations that people were poisoning wells and that people were actually dying from that instead of from Ebola. All over the press there have been just these horrific photos - some of them don't even appear to be of Ebola patients. It really is a terrifying disease in part because you can't see it and people don't know exactly how it spreads. And until that information is disseminated throughout the population - that you really have to be in contact with someone who's sick in order to get it - people are just terrified.

INSKEEP: Well, I'm interested Jason because I know you have covered other disasters that are far more visible - like the earthquake in Haiti a few years ago. What's it like to cover this disaster that is in large measure invisible?

BEAUBIEN: You know, it's really difficult. It's difficult to cover it in that, you know, you walk in somewhere and you don't know whether these people may have been exposed to it. And at the moment here in Liberia, people are just keeping their distance from other people, including myself. I keep my distance from people, nobody shakes hands, people are trying to stay roughly six feet away is what people are being told. Even on the buses, which are usually completely packed with people, like, almost practically hanging out the doors and packed in, they've started spacing people out on the buses and actually enforcing that. So Ebola is affecting just about every aspect of daily life here.

INSKEEP: Are people putting very much hope in news that experimental drugs are being used and increasingly approved for use by health authorities even though it's not certain they'll work?

BEAUBIEN: People here are a bit concerned that those drugs seem to be going to Westerners. You know, at the moment, the three people that people here have heard about are the two Americans and the Spanish priest. So it's a bit of concern that Africans themselves are not going to get these drugs and these are going to be saved for the rich foreigners.

INSKEEP: Jason, thanks very much.

BEAUBIEN: You're welcome.

INSKEEP: That's NPR's Jason Beaubien in Monrovia, Liberia. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

http://wmra.org/post/liberia-becomes-ep ... ola-crisis


PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 12:35 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:42 am
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA
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