From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

OP-ED: Quarantined Medics Escape Shadow of Death in Sierra Leone
By Jonathan Abass Kamara
Jul 15, 2015, 17:08

Preparation to celebrate the joy of the 46 health workers: doctors, nurses, pharmacist, laboratory technician, cleaner and security officer of the Princess Christian Maternity Hospital (PCMH) who were voluntarily quarantined at the Hastings Police Training School Treatment Centre and tested Ebola free is underway to host a victory welcome ceremony at the PCMH compound in Freetown this week.

It would be recalled that these health workers had contact with an infected Ebola patient directly and indirectly sometime in June this year when seeking maternal care at the PCM Hospital. Arrived with a normal temperature and later manifest symptoms of Ebola and tested positive. The worried workers with regards the circumstance in question had no alternative but gets them quarantined.


These health workers were, and are everything to the hospital including their families. Their love and passion for their jobs brought them at a crossroad where they decided to go on quarantined, challenging the deadly Ebola virus that unpredictably entered the PCMH through a woman who was seeking medical attention to save both her life and the life of her baby.


They decided to fight against the shadow of death and eventually won the battle. There are plans currently to celebrate their gallantry and professionalism this week in a grand style. A Press Conference would be hosted to tell the press how the use of Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) is being executed and practiced in the hospital, and measures put in place to avert recurrence.


The good news is that with the professional experienced gained by doctors at the Police Training School Ebola Treatment and Holding Centres in the fight against the Ebola, it is expected that the Patient in question Isatu would come out as a survivor. However, it’s saddening to learn that she lost her baby.


The Ebola disease is now in Sierra Leone and West Africa in particular. Much has been written about it, and doctors before now were not greatly interested in it. And so the patient often gets out in the cold to suffer until when we realized that the fight to contain the disease is ours, and togetherness is the common medical trait.


What I saw at PTS I and II Ebola Treatment Centres: the professionalism demonstrated, coming out largely with the discharged of unpredictable survivors forces me to say a word or two about the medical profession. As much education is needed here and elsewhere, the Consultants in Mateboi who are now my allies are the first to admit that our leadership Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma demonstrated sympathy, empathy and encouragement for our doctors, nurses and the other health workers for which my admiration for our medics in the depressing, unglamorous and little-researched work on the Ebola was unbounded. Their private clinics were shut down, their time limited to the Ebola fight and make the best of their ability of modern ideas. I would like to thank them very much for being such marvelous human beings.


But my people at Sanda Taindaren are worried over the mysterious cases of delayed symptoms of infected person and the referral system of a patient to another health facility. “Fundamental research on a large scale is necessary before the problem of Ebola is really understood”, opined a Section Chief in my little town of Mateboi after taking his “Manor-nor” and “Lafidee”.

Meanwhile, I beg to take leave as the trumpet now sounds for the triumphant entry of the 46 Ebola- free health workers into the laudable welcome ceremony at PCMH (Cottage).

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.