Blog from the front lines in Liberia

  1. I started reading this blog... it is heart wrenching. I haven't finished reading but thought you all would be interested in hearing in first person from a doctor with boots on the ground about how this scourge is being treated and how people are literally lying about it to try to get treatment for their family members. My heart goes out to these healthcare workers...

    I've never read anything so graphic in my life
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    About Thimbalina

    Joined: Aug '14; Posts: 120; Likes: 406


  3. by   macawake
    I person close to me is a surgeon and has worked in numerous countries in the world (with MSF). Some of the accounts I’ve listened to growing up and beyond, of how it’s actually like to work in healthcare in these places beggars belief. In nursing school many of my professors would frequently go on missions with MSF, the Red Cross and other organizations. Some of my homework was even graded from Thailand (post-tsunami). These teachers would tell us about their experiences and show us pictures from many of the disaster areas they worked in. It was educational, both eye-opening and heart-breaking.

    I’ve talked to a healthcare worker who’s recently been working with Ebola victims in Liberia (the person is a physician or nurse, I don’t want to identify the exact profession since it’s a relatively small group of people who’ve recently been there). What all these people have in common is that they paint a picture that’s so alien to those of us, who’ve only worked under more organized conditions. Regarding this current outbreak, the international response so far hasn’t been close to meeting the needs of this still worsening crisis and those actually working on site are angered, saddened and frustrated with the situation.

    I’m absolutely not surprised that the Ebola outbreak is still spreading. The resources available in West Africa have so far been woefully inadequate. Healthcare staff are completely overwhelmed. People infected with the Ebola virus don’t get the care they so desperately need, nor are they being isolated in order to protect those who haven’t yet been infected. Since the facilities many times have no available space to treat them, sick people are sent back home or somewhere else, lessening their chance of survival and dramatically increasing the risk of further spread in the community.

    If you read the blog entry from Thimbalina’s link titled “Eyes” on September 1 and “Ebola-iculous” on September 3 it’s pretty clear why the situation isn’t optimal for containment of this outbreak, and how Healthcare workers there are very much at risk.

    (Somewhat of a tangent, I’m not overly impressed by this doctor’s way of quoting how the locals speak (English), but I do deeply admire the work he and other healthcare professionals do in this part of the world).
  4. by   Thimbalina
    I was a bit shocked by some of what I read especially how he is not treating Ebola, but trying to isolate his hospital from the other Ebola cases yet finding himself exposed. This would never fly in America due to EMTALA (but that is what they have to do there to protect the public) I also found it interesting that after he was exposed he went home, took off his clothes washed down… How heart wrenching to have to live like this. Also, the families of Ebola victims totally lied to get her treated… not realizing how they exposed everyone to Ebola. I think that is typical there. So little education and understanding. I liked how he expressed his emotions in this blog. He was very real. My heart goes out to those volunteers.
  5. by   do5051
    My heart goes out to those in Liberia and other countries directly affected by the Ebola Virus outbreak. These countries, which are heavily impacted by globalization, remain marginalized, lacking much needed funding and opportunities for education. This disaster is directly related to lack of education, lack of health care and health care providers, and lack of supplies, all of which are needed to prevent and in this case, eradicate the disease. Looking back in history, many past outbreaks of diseases had the same root causes. Until the human race experiences equality for all, I fear we will continue to face disasters or near disaster.
  6. by   do5051
    I am thinking that I am not surprised that the hospital tries to isolate from Ebola virus cases, as they may not be prepared to care for these patients and contain the spread of the disease, thus ensuring further exposure and spread of the disease. It is very sad that victims need to lie to access treatment, not realizing that they further spread the disease. In the USA, we cannot refuse to treat patients. we have developed strategic plans, which include education and drills, to be prepared to accept patients that require bio-containment.