Monday 8 September 2014

Inside Quarantine

During one of our daily calls Dr Koroma of the Waterloo Hospital asked if I could stop by the hospital to pick up something that needs to be taken to the UK. When I questioned if I'd be allowed he assured me that the armed police and military are there for the safety of the hospital staff and to make sure no-one leaves and that there would be no problem with me calling into the hospital compound.
I had presumed that I would have to talk to the Doctor through a window, but I was allowed into the hospital. It was quite strange seeing it so empty (most of the staff were outside getting some air). There are 35 hospital staff currently quarantined at the hospital.
I don't really know what I had expected, but it wasn't as grim as I thought it was going to be, the staff still have another 10 days of quarantine to go and they are not allowed to leave the hospital compound until then, but they are allowed outside to sit in the canteen and the palava hut - they aren't nearly as restricted as I was expecting, I had expected that they would be all locked inside the hospital at all times.
Everyone seems to be in good spirits, although they are obviously saddened by the recent loss of their colleagues.

They are taking all the possible precautions and recording temperatures regularly so that any sign of fever will be picked up quickly, but so far all the remaining patients are showing no signs of Ebola. It was through the taking of temperatures that the Doctor identified the three staff that tested positive for the virus.
The doctor is desperate to get an infrared thermometer (one of those gun like contraptions used to record people's temperature) - if anyone can help with that let me know.

The Doctor talked about the two nurses that lost their lives to Ebola and the conditions he described at the Ebola Centre sound horrific. The doctor had to send money to the Ebola Centre to get food and treatment for his staff there, he believes that had he been allowed to treat them at Waterloo that they may well have lived. I saw a photo of one of the nurses taken as she was being loaded into the ambulance to take her to the Ebola Centre, she walked herself to the ambulance......two days later she was dead.

The lab technician who has Ebola is doing well and is expected to recover.
Please continue to pray for the Doctor and his staff

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