Ebola Nurse’s Death Exposes Liberia Health Sector
HOW IRONIC is it that a nurse who survived the deadly Ebola virus outbreak ends up dying from complications around child birth.
ONLY LIBERIA IS SUCH a thing possible.
SALOME KARWAH worked with the medical charity, Doctors Without Borders as a nurse during the heat of the deadly Ebola virus outbreak.
SHE HERSELF was a survivor of the deadly hemorrhagic fever and was one of five people featured on the Time magazine cover for their work in fighting Ebola.
THE EPIDEMIC KILLED more than 11,300 people and infected some 28,600 from 2013, as it swept through Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, according to WHO data.
AT THE HEIGHT of the deadly virus outbreak, health workers who were at the frontline in the fight of the disease were always ignored, ill-treated and had to go out of their way to make their voices heard because government was reneging on their responsibilities to pay them.
TODAY, EVEN IN HER DEATH, Nurse Karwah’s family are fighting for rights amid reports that they are planning to sue the John F. Kennedy Medical Hospital whose staff they say were too scared to treat her when she died of complications around childbirth.
ALTHOUGH JFK has rejected the claims, it does speak volumes to the level of insecurity and distrust many have about the sector in Liberia. “The … family is going to take a lawsuit against the hospital,” her brother Reginald Karwah told Reuters by telephone. “The mismanagement of our (sister’s) condition was due to the fact that they had people on shift who did not handle her case professionally.”
TRACES OF EBOLA can hide in survivors’ bodies long after they have recovered, but health experts say the risk of Ebola re-emerging and being transmitted to others is extremely low. Despite that, there is a great deal of stigma around survivors of the virus in West Africa.
HERE IS A NURSE who became infected and because she was no immune, risk her own life to make direct contact with sick patients that most carriers could not. She “spoon-fed elderly sufferers and rock feverish babies to sleep” and made sure that she was there when her country needed her.
IT IS TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE for anyone who survived Ebola to die from a simple issue as complications from childbirth.
THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY was there when we called upon them to help us. Prior to Ebola, there was not a single ambulance available to transport to sick and dying.
WHAT DOES IT SAY about us as a country when we allow our medical heroes to die like dogs. This is not right and must be corrected……