They didn’t have the proper protective equipment

NPR’s Goats and Soda blog reports that more than 360 African health workers died of Ebola this year. It has photos of 36 of them, a poignant collection.

More than 360 African health workers died of Ebola this year. Some of them made headlines around the world, such as Dr. Umar Sheik Khan, the Sierra Leonean physician who treated more than 100 Ebola patients before contracting the disease himself.

But most of the fallen health workers didn’t get that degree of attention. They were doctors, nurses, midwives, lab technicians. They didn’t have the proper protective equipment. As they tried to save the lives of others, they sacrificed their own.

Liberia and Sierra Leone can’t afford to lose all those health workers.

In some West African clinics and medical facilities, the faces of the lost health workers stare out from tribute walls: Photos of the deceased are posted in hallways outside offices and examination rooms. A person’s name and job may be scrawled in ink underneath the photo, along with a personal note.

They had names:

Top Row: Sando Sirleaf Jr.; Sharon Shamoyan; Laurene W. Togba, RN [registered nurse]; Kortoe M. Berry, RN; Gloria Tonia Banks; David Korpu, RN; Jamaimah Harlebah, RN; Youngor Suakollie, RN

Second row: Alice M. Paasewe, CM [certified midwife]; James J. Kemokai, RN; James T. Daah, RN; Enid D. Dalieh, RN; Mercy W. Dahn, RN; Layson Zuu, RN; Josephine K. Gibson, RN; Tamba Eric Fallah, RN

Third row: Kebeh Bernice Zawu; Roseline K Moliwulo, CM; Kebbeh Marzou Akoi; Mohammed Sheriff, RN; Otino J. Garpue, RN; Joseph Sulon, RN; Esther D. Kezelee, RN; Zion S. Nuah, RN

Fourth row: Martha Y. Tom; Isatu Isatu Boyah Salifu; Enoch W.W. Saywon; Nornor Friencelai Kollie; Christian Tulah Harris; Joseph M. Khakie; Nathaniel S. Kollie, RN; Anita Leela Sackie

All died in the line of duty, along with more than 300 others.


  1. sailor1031 says

    The true meaning of public service. Those assholes at the NYPD, who now just went on a work slowdown for no good reason except that they can, should hang their heads in total shame.

  2. Erp says

    Definitely brave men and women and these countries will suffer long term from their loss even if Ebola vanished tomorrow. These are countries where all the doctors in the country could fit in a lecture hall. Liberia had about 170 doctors; Sierra Leone maybe 130 (though 11 have now died of Ebola). Even when Ebola is eradicated this will mean far fewer healthcare workers for dealing with other conditions in countries already at the bottom world wide.

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