Health Workers Ostracized in Liberia
REPORTING FROM SUAKOKO, Liberia – Patrick Githinji held the intravenous needle and bent over his patient. The man was shaking and sweating, blood trickling from his head and hand.
Githinji wore a suffocating protective suit, outfitted with double-layered gloves, mask and goggles. But it would be useless against the deadly Ebola virus if compromised by even a tiny slip of the needle.
“If you make a small mistake, you may prick yourself and end up positive. When you are fixing an IV drip for an Ebola patient, you can even panic,” said Githinji, 29, a Kenyan nurse at the International Medical Corps Ebola treatment unit here in Bong County. “I feel some fear, but this is a job that somebody has to do.”
The health workers on the front lines of Liberia’s Ebola crisis are working grueling shifts and risking fatal infection in their commitment to comfort the dying and save the sick.