Ebola tragedy revealed by BBC reporter Tulip Mazumdar, Devastating news from the Ebola clinic, This is world’s problem, We must protect our borders and travel and help them to help themselves
“You can see that these doctors, who are highly trained people, got themselves infected,”
“So sending troops into an area, if they’re dealing one-on-one with a patient, they’re not going to be able to protect themselves very well. It’s not easy to [prevent transmission], because you get tired and you get careless and you make some simple mistakes. All it takes is one virus particle.”…Dr. Lee Hieb, former president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
“Several weeks ago, National Nurses United began surveying registered nurses across the U.S. about emergency preparedness. Most of the nurses are telling NNU that their hospital is not prepared for the Ebola virus.”…National Nurse Survey Oct. 3, 2014
“We must open our eyes and see that modern civilization has become so complex and the lives of civilized men so interwoven with the lives of other men in other countries as to make it impossible to be in this world and out of it.”…Franklin Roosevelt
It is too bad we are spending so much time and resources fighting ISIS, a problem that Obama, et al, allowed to exacerbate.
It is too bad these so called religious fanatics, who if they truly had religion would be assisting to help fight Ebola.
It is too bad that Muslims don’t do a better job of policing those who use Islam for an evil agenda.
It is too bad that poor people in Africa must suffer more.
We must protect our country and rally the world to fight Ebola, in an intelligent, compassionate manner.
From the BBC October 7, 2014.
“Devastating news from the Ebola clinic”
“Today we are filming at the country’s main referral hospital – Connaught Hospital in central Freetown. As we enter, I see a woman in a purple and pink shirt lying on a bench, with her head in her hands. She looks extremely unwell. This area is where patients showing symptoms of Ebola come for help, but the help is limited.
This isn’t a treatment centre; it’s an isolation ward within the hospital. People have to travel many miles from here by ambulance to get proper supportive treatment. There are just 18 beds in this hospital, and they are all full.
The latest patient to arrive is a one-month-old baby. Ebola killed both his parents overnight. The chances are he is also infected and will die within days. All medics can do is feed him and hold him through protective suits. I am reminded of my trip to Guinea a couple of months back, when I was covering this outbreak. Back then, I watched the body of a four-month-old baby lowered into the ground. Ebola also killed his mother. It’s heart-breaking to imagine the most likely outcome for this other tiny baby.”
“As we are leaving the hospital, a black truck pulls up. The burial team is here to remove two bodies and bury them in the nearby cemetery. We watch and then follow the makeshift hearse to these victims’ final resting place.
A whole area is cordoned off just for suspected and confirmed Ebola victims. Walking into it is eerie and tragic. There are hundreds of graves, most dug very recently, with fresh mounds of mud on top of them. One or two have a cross or children’s toys scattered on them. Most, though, are unmarked. What hits me is the sheer scale – 400 bodies buried here in a matter of weeks.
The burial team is efficient and almost jovial. I imagine it’s the only way they can keep performing this grim task day in, day out. The cemetery supervisor, Abdul Rahman Parker, tells me he’s been ostracised by his community – people are scared of him now because he handles the bodies of Ebola victims. But he says he doesn’t care, and that Sierra Leone needs him to continue doing this job, even if its people don’t realise it.”
“My brother Francis is sick, and they won’t take him at this centre. They say they are full. What are we supposed to do? We’ve been travelling from hospital to hospital all day and no-one will take him.”
I peer into the car. Francis is sitting in the passenger seat staring into space. His eyes are red, and he has the hiccups – both are clear symptoms of Ebola. After almost an hour of pleading, the family eventually give up. The five of them pile back into their car and drive away. Everyone in that vehicle is now potentially at risk of catching Ebola.
When we enter the treatment centre, I feel the helplessness and frustration of that family and I demand to know why they didn’t allow that potentially dying man inside. Surely they can do something for him. The centre’s co-ordinator, Luca Rolla, tells me their priority has to be their staff and the patients they are already treating. He tells me that they cannot go over capacity or they risk everyone else inside the centre. One of their doctors has already contracted the virus and is now being treated in Germany.
It’s an impossible choice for these medics, and my frustration quickly pales in comparison to theirs. Luca has taken the family’s details and if a bed becomes free anywhere in or around Freetown, he will let them know.
Luca tells me, what’s needed right now is more international medics and training of local medics, and more isolation centres. Until then – he says – he will have to continue turning patients away, knowing full well they risk going back into the community and infecting yet more people.”
“Then soon after 18:00, just as one of the BBC World presenters is about to introduce me live, my producer, Mark, runs over and tells me some terrible news. Francis Samuka, whom we watched being turned away from a treatment centre yesterday, has died. His family has called and told us he passed away at an isolation centre a few hours ago. His sister could barely speak when she was delivering the news, she was wailing with sorrow. My heart sinks… and then I hear the presenter in my earpiece saying: “Tulip, what’s the latest?”
I explain what’s happened, all the time thinking of Francis’ bloodshot eyes and the look of despair I saw in him just the day before.
I am glad we were able to tell Francis Samuka’s story. It’s important people know this is happening on a daily basis across West Africa. It underlines why governments here and global aid agencies continue to plead for more international help, so patients like Francis can be treated, instead of being turned away.”