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Vol 57 No 4

Published 19th February 2016

Sierra Leone

The political toll of Ebola

Unused ambulances parked in the open in the midst of the outbreak are just one image of horror emerging in a new report

Standing prominently in front of the maternity ward of Kenema Government Hospital is a newly erected plaque bearing the names of 36 health workers who perished combating the recent Ebola epidemic. The first name is that of Sheik Umar Khan, the country's only virologist, whose death from the disease in July 2014 prompted the government of President Ernest Bai Koroma to declare a state of emergency. Another doctor, Sahr Jimmy Rogers, perished soon after, as did eight of the nine laboratory technicians working with Khan in the tiny Lassa fever ward, which had quickly been converted into a makeshift treatment centre.

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