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EDITORIALS  

As White House extends Condolences on death of Dr. Martin Salia: From 500 to 5,000
By Our Editorial Team ( A Front Page Editorial )
Nov 18, 2014, 17:18
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The day Sierra Leone recorded 500 laboratory confirmed cases of Ebola was the day Dr. Shiekh Umarr Khan died from Ebola. It was July 29, 2014 and it marked a turning point in the way the country perceived the Ebola crisis. The death of Dr. Khan and the 500 cases finally convinced all of us; from President Koroma downwards, that a catastrophe was unfolding on the land. By midnight of the next day, it was a different Sierra Leone with a State of Emergency proclaimed. President Koroma had also cancelled his long-planned trip to honour Invitation from Barack Obamafs prestigious White House for US-Africa Summit.

 

Fast forward to November 17th 2014 and today, the Obama White House has the topmost item listed on its website Briefings to be an official Statement of Condolence from the White House on the death from Ebola of Sierra Leone born doctor, Martin Maada Salia. The doctor had been flown to America hopeful to be cured but he sadly did not make it. 

 

Dr. Martin Salia has died in America

 

Yes indeed, the death of Dr. Salia was so important to President Obama that the White House Press Office had the Condolence as the topmost item on its Briefings even up to early hours of this morning of 18th November 2014 when we went to press.

 

In sharp contrast, out here in Sierra Leone, there is yet to be an officially issued statement from government that a Sierra Leone medical doctor has died from Ebola he caught here. No official press statement has been issued to media houses. Visiting international journalists must surely wonder what kind of government cannot issue a simple published statement of condolence when one of its brightest doctors loses his life to Ebola.

 

DR. KHAN

 

Interestingly, just as the death of Dr. Khan happened on the day Sierra Leone reached 500 (five hundred) lab-confirmed cases, so also has the death of Dr. Salia happened on the day Sierra Leone reached and passed 5,000 (five thousand) lab-confirmed cases. 

 

When we crossed the 500 number along with death of Dr. Khan, it jolted President Koroma to take firm decisions that had been long awaited by his citizens. Now we have crossed the 5,000 number of compatriots confirmed to have been stricken with Ebola. With this development, along with death of Dr. Salia, we can only watch what decisions the President will now take that will make his citizens realise he is in touch with how we - especially those amongst us who voted for him 2 years ago on November 17th 2012 - are all feeling right now about our state of affairs.

 

( SEE BELOW )

Photo Screenshot of White House website Briefings Update webpage


The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
November 17, 2014

Statement by the Press Secretary on the Passing of Dr. Martin Salia

We extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and loved ones of Dr. Martin Salia, who succumbed this morning to Ebola at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, despite the heroic efforts of that institutionfs incredibly talented team. Dr. Salia leaves behind loved ones in the United States, his adopted homeland, and in Sierra Leone, where he was born. A general surgeon, Dr. Salia dedicated his life to saving others. He viewed this vocation as his calling, telling his fellow United Methodist Church members that he pursued medicine not because he wanted to, but because he firmly believed it was God's will for him. Dr. Salia's passing is another reminder of the human toll of this disease and of the continued imperative to tackle this epidemic on the frontlines, where Dr. Salia was engaged in his calling.


NEBRASKA MEDICINE ANNOUNCES DEATH OF DR. MARTIN SALIA

Omaha, Nebraska, 17th November 2014: We are extremely sorry to announce that the third patient wefve cared for with the Ebola virus, Dr. Martin Salia, has passed away as a result of the advanced symptoms of the disease.

gIt is with an extremely heavy heart that we share this news,h said Dr. Phil Smith, medical director of the Biocontainment Unit at Nebraska Medical Center and professor of infectious diseases at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the hospitalfs academic partner. gDr. Salia was extremely critical when he arrived here, and unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we werenft able to save him.h

Dr. Salia was suffering from advanced symptoms of Ebola when he arrived at the hospital Saturday, which included kidney and respiratory failure. He was placed on dialysis, a ventilator and multiple medications to support his organ systems in an effort to help his body fight the disease. He also received a dose of convalescent plasma and ZMapp therapy was initiated on Saturday.

gWe used every possible treatment available to give Dr. Salia every possible opportunity for survival,h said Dr. Smith. gAs we have learned, early treatment with these patients is essential. In Dr. Saliafs case, his disease was already extremely advanced by the time he came here for treatment.h

gWefre very grateful for the efforts of the team led by Dr. Smith,h said IsatuSalia, Dr. Saliafs wife. gIn the short time we spent here, it was apparent how caring and compassionate everyone was. We are so appreciative of the opportunity for my husband to be treated here and believe he was in the best place possible.h

gEvery member of the team has been personally affected by Dr. Saliafs passing,h concluded Shelly Schwedhelm, nursing director of the Biocontainment Unit. gWhile losing any patient is always extremely difficult, although our effort here was brief, everyone gave every ounce of effort they had. The collective feeling of loss has been overwhelming.h

Members of our team plan to speak to the media Monday morning.

# END.


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