''All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing'' - Edmund Burke


S I E R R A  H E R A L D

Vol XI No 5

The tendency sometimes to protect perpetrators for the sake of peace...doesn't help society. Impunity should not be allowed to stand. - Kofi Annan on Waki report

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Wednesday September 3, 2014 - UK Ebola victim flown from Sierra Leone is alive - and well again. William Pooley admits that he was really scared, thinking he was going to die. Praise the Lord - he is now declared OK after evacuation from Sierra Leone by specially-equipped air force C-17 plane.Ebola victim William Pooley. He was evacuated by special Royal Air Force plane from Sierra Leone. He is now well and wishes Sierra Leone well in the fight against Ebola.

The first UK victim of the Ebola virus to get infected in Sierra Leone nurse William Pooley has been given the all-clear by medical teams and is back home no doubt trying to recall where he could have got it wrong and got infected. His story again highlights the need for proper care and good health delivery for those who contract the disease thereby buttressing our call that more be done for Ebola victims in Sierra Leone. That having the infection need not be a death sentence.

The BBC has this story - "Mr Pooley was given the experimental drug ZMapp and has praised the "world class" care at the hospital. About half of the 3,000 people infected in the outbreak, which started in Guinea, have died. The pace of the outbreak has been accelerating with more than 40% of cases in the past three weeks.

Mr Pooley was working as a volunteer nurse in one of the worst affected countries, Sierra Leone, when he contracted the virus. He is unsure when he became infected, but started feeling sick and needed a blood test.

He recalled the moment his fears were confirmed: "I was woken early that evening by one of the World Health Organization doctors and immediately I knew it was it was bad news."

I was worried that I was going to die, I was worried about my family and I was scared. He said: "I was very lucky in several ways; firstly in the standard of care I received, which is a world apart from what people are receiving in West Africa at the moment. "And my symptoms never progressed to the worst stage of the disease, I've seen people dying horrible deaths, I had some unpleasant symptoms, but nothing compared to the worst of the disease."

He was treated with the experimental Ebola drug ZMapp, a 12-hour infusion of antibodies, that has been given to only six other patients.

It is not clear if the infusion helped, but levels of the virus in his bloodstream did fall significantly after the treatment. Dr Michael Jacobs, an infectious diseases consultant at the hospital, said: "He is not infectious to anyone else now. The virus is cleared from the body, and there is no risk to the wider community in any way."

He said the isolation unit Mr Pooley had been kept in was going through chemical decontamination. "This unit is always there, it's business-as-usual for us, we were prepared for this to happen and we're prepared if it happens again.

Mr Pooley praised the efforts of other people working on the ground. "It's just heroic what they're doing, they know what might be facing them," he said. "In the face of quite likely a horrible death, they're continuing to work all day, every day helping sick people, it's amazing."

He said it had felt "natural" to go and help in West Africa, that he had no regrets and was "more committed than ever to nursing". Mr Pooley is heading back to Eyke in Suffolk with his family this afternoon. "They incinerated my passport, so my mum will be pleased to know I can't go anywhere," he added."

Another UK-based news outlet, the Daily Mail (not to be confused with that rubbish online red herring generated by degenerate and self-serving praise singers of the rat) has this other aspect - "Mr Pooley, who comes from the small village of Eyke in Suffolk, was airlifted back to Britain in a specially equipped C17 RAF aircraft. The hospital said in a statement: 'Following 10 days of successful treatment in the high level isolation unit - the only one in the UK - Mr Pooley is being discharged from the Royal Free Hospital today.' Close to 1,500 people have so far died across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in the worst epidemic since the disease was first identified 38 years ago. Mr Pooley had been volunteering at the ebola centre in Kenema, one of the worst affected areas, for just five weeks when he fell ill. Previously he had been providing palliative care to patients at the Shepherd's Hospice in Sierra Leone's capital city, Freetown, and had been there since March. But as the ebola epidemic began and he heard that healthcare professionals were fleeing for fear of catching the disease, he decided to go to Kenema. Mr Pooley is the only Briton to be have ever been infected by ebola outside the laboratory. The only other British case was in 1976, when scientist Geoffrey Platt pricked himself with a needle contaminated with the virus.

And there's some interesting bit on the drug ZMapp (the US calls it Zee-Mapp, not Zed-Mapp) and asking whether it was a breakthrough underlining once more that though the drug is thought to have a role to play, the body's own immune system, we believe, if beefed up with proper care and nutrition could help in the fight against the horrible and invasive terror desperately trying to take the lives of victims.

"ZMapp is a blend of three laboratory-made antibodies designed to neutralise the virus. Two US doctors given the drug after they were infected with Ebola while working in Liberia subsequently recovered. But it is not known whether they were saved by the drug or just lucky. About 45% of those infected in the current outbreak have survived without treatment.

At least two other patients treated with ZMapp have died, possibly because help got to them too late. However, it remains to be seen how quickly production of the drug can be geared up to meet future demand.

ZMapp, developed by US biotech company Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc, is manufactured in the leaves of genetically modified tobacco plants. Potentially the process could yield 20 to 40 doses per month, said Dr Kobinger. Evidence suggests that effective treatment with ZMapp requires three doses of 15 milligrams per kilogram of body weight."

Allow us to bring you this story which is a damning indictment on the world especially countries that can help but have so far remained unresponsive - from the European Union to the United States, Russia and China. All these countries sit back and are just watching as West Africa grapples and fumbles with death and health.

"A global military intervention is needed to curb the largest ever Ebola outbreak, according to the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres. In a damning criticism of world leaders, it says the global response has so far been "lethally inadequate".

The charity said countries were turning their back on West Africa and merely reducing the risk of Ebola arriving on their shores. More than 1,550 people have died in the outbreak which started in Guinea. At least 3,000 people have been infected with the virus, but the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that more than 20,000 people are likely to be infected.

Calling them a 'Coalition of inaction' MSF says - "In a speech to the United Nations, the international president of MSF, Dr Joanne Liu, said repeated calls for help had been ignored. She said: "Six months into the worst Ebola epidemic in history, the world is losing the battle to contain it. "Leaders are failing to come to grips with this trans-national threat. "The WHO announcement on August 8 that the epidemic constituted a 'public health emergency of international concern' has not led to decisive action, and states have essentially joined a global coalition of inaction.

"MSF said military and civilian teams capable of dealing with a biological disaster were needed immediately as the spread of Ebola "will not be prevented without a massive deployment". It is calling for more field hospitals with isolation wards to be set up, trained healthcare workers to be sent to the region and air support to move patients and medics across West Africa. Dr Liu added: "States with the required capacity have a political and humanitarian responsibility to come forward and offer a desperately needed, concrete response to the disaster unfolding in front of the world's eyes.

"Rather than limit their response to the potential arrival of an infected patient in their countries, they should take the unique opportunity to actually save lives where immediately needed, in West Africa." The charity said that at one site in Monrovia, in Liberia, it had been able to set up an isolation facility with 160 beds, but said they were "overwhelmed" with growing queues and needed an additional 800 beds."

We would now urge all those interested in humanity, all friends of Sierra Leone to please, please come to our aid in this fight against the Ebola scourge. Leaving the fight to the antics of the rat and his band of thieves and opportunists is a non-starter. This recent story of William Pooley and his survival has brought into sharp focus the need to have much bigger units in various parts of the country staffed by well-motivated health delivery workers who continue to risk their lives to save their very own kith and kin and humanity in Sierra Leone.

We are talking of the lives of human beings!!!

Proper care is the name of the game and we are appalled by stories that those who test positive are treated like rabid dogs, not properly fed and not allowed to feel safe.

A leper colony is being created hearkening Biblical times when a lack of understanding of the affliction was seen as a curse. It is all there - fear, intimidation and looming death. We need to change that perspective - that it is a death sentence. It is not a death sentence as the case of William Pooley and others have shown.

Please world, please humanity - come to our aid and help us fight the scourge.

Help us with isolation units.

Help us with medical personnel.

Help us with food and drugs.

Help us with beds and trolleys.

Help us with protective gears.

Help us raise the trust and confidence levels of our citizens who have grown to distrust any word that drips from the lips of politicians.

Please come to our aid. Do not wait until Ebola decimates us. We do not deserve this.

Thanking you in advance for your anticipated help.


Yearning for the mother country?

The right choice is Kevin McPhilips Travel

©Sierra Herald 2002