December 1, 2014 - Update
As the world commemorates World Aids Day today
we should be forgiven for thinking that the
affliction should be given less of the limelight
this year given the awful horror that is wiping
out families, communities and whole villages in
our once beautiful country.
into delayed treatment needed.
The vicious and
murderous rampage of the Ebola Virus Disease
appears to have put the
ravages of AIDS
in the back burner - but who can blame us for
this line of thinking?
More so given that the
directionless, clueless and thieving cabal
headed by the rat at State House is an apology
for planning, strategy and implementation of
commonsense policies that should have contained
the menace even before it got a hold on the
lives of our people.
Even as we think of ways
and means of "Closing the gap in HIV prevention
and treatment" - the theme of this year's World
Aids Day, let us pay tribute to all who have
perished especially the health delivery workers
on the frontline - the nurses, doctors and
associated teams like those tasked with the
disposal of the remains of our departed
compatriots - men, women and children of all
Let us pay tribute to their selfless work
and let us remember Dr Martin Salia in whose
honour and memory a special service was held on
Saturday 29th November 2014. The good man passed
to the great beyond on November 17.
One news outlet
had this -
"The 44-year-old surgeon was
remembered Saturday at his funeral Mass as a
tireless, selfless and heroic advocate for
medical care for the less fortunate. Salia died
of Ebola on Nov. 17 after being flown to a
hospital in Omaha, Nebraska, in the advanced
stages of the deadly virus.
He became the second
person to die in the United States after
contracting Ebola in West Africa, where it has
killed nearly 7,000 people.
Ron Klain, the White
House Ebola response coordinator, read a
personal note of condolence from President
Barack Obama to Salia's family. "The greatest
heroes are people who choose to face danger, who
voluntarily put themselves at risk to help
others," Klain said. "Martin Salia was such a
The 90-minute Mass at the home parish of Salia's family in Maryland drew a crowd that
swelled to the hundreds. Relatives, friends,
colleagues and dignitaries from both the U.S.
and Sierra Leone were in attendance, along with
Sierra Leonean immigrants from around the
country, some of whom said they didn't know
Salia's wife, Isatu Salia,
wept as she carried a small black box containing
her husband's cremated remains into the church,
flanked by the couple's sons, 20-year-old Maada
and 14-year-old Hinwaii.
Bockari Stevens, the
Sierra Leonean ambassador to the United States,
called Salia a national hero who abandoned "the
luxuries of the United States" to aid his
homeland. "It is a loss not only to your family.
It is a loss to our country," Stevens said.
Salia did not receive aggressive treatment for
Ebola until nearly two weeks after he first
started showing symptoms. His formal diagnosis
was delayed, and it took several days for him to
be flown back to the United States. Those
delays, doctors said, probably made it
impossible for anyone to save his life.
Marilee Cole, an international health consultant
who ran a Georgetown University training program
in Cameroon, remembered Salia as an unusually
humble physician. The diminutive, wiry surgeon
was always in motion, she said, and despite his
work ethic, he managed to organize a soccer
league for the hospital staff.
completed his residency and began training other
doctors, they were awed by his multitude of
skills, she said. It will be recalled that Dr
Salia finally arrived in the US for treatment
after what looks like a fatal and unnecessary
delay in providing him with the vital initial
treatment in Sierra Leone where a new treatment
centre at Kerry Town failed to intervene in
providing the much needed care.
One news outlet
has noted that the initial tests raises
"Salia is the 10th
person with Ebola treated in the USA. While all
eight Americans have survived, both patients
from Africa -- including Liberian national
Thomas Eric Duncan -- have died. Although Ebola
tests are generally considered accurate, they
may produce false negative results early in a
person's infection, when levels of the virus are
still low, says Anthony Fauci, director of the
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious
The test isn't sensitive
enough to detect very small amounts of virus.
That's why people who suspect they could have
Ebola -- because they have symptoms and may have
been exposed to the virus -- should be retested
again in 48 to 72 hours, Fauci says.
Guidelines from Doctors
Without Borders note that, "false negative
results can occur in the first three days of
symptoms when the viral load is low. If the
disease is suspected and the result is negative,
the test needs to be repeated on or after the
fourth day of symptoms."
Fauci says false negative results don't pose a
major public health risk. That's because people
with low levels of virus aren't very contagious.
People generally become more contagious as the
level of virus rises, later in the illness. That
puts hospital workers at greater risk than the
average person in the community.
Even a patient who has
begun to feel sick is not likely to spread the
disease to others until the patient begins to
lose bodily fluids, such as through blood, vomit
and diarrhea, Fauci says.
In addition to
supportive care in the intensive care unit,
Salia received two experimental therapies -- a
blood donation from someone who survived Ebola
and the drug ZMapp.
declined to reveal which Ebola survivor provided
the blood. Salia is the first Ebola patient to
receive ZMapp in the USA since August, when the
drug was given to physician Kent Brantly and
missionary Nancy Writebol. A handful of Ebola
patients in other countries also received the
drug, which isn't yet approved.
An Aug. 12 statement on
the web site of ZMapp's maker, Mapp
Biopharmaceutical of San Diego, says that
supplies of the drug have been exhausted. The
drug takes several months to produce, using
tobacco plants. But when the hospital contacted
Mapp Biopharmaceutical, the company was able to
send a dose, said Chris Kratochvil, the
associate vice chair for clinical research at
the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
"We don't have any
recognized supplies of ZMapp," Fauci said. "It's
obvious that somewhere, somehow, people have a
dose or two stowed away. When people get it, I'm
not sure where they get it from."
Nebraska doctors said they used a variety of
therapies to try to save Salia, who was
unresponsive and in kidney failure and
respiratory failure when he arrived Saturday.
Those methods included kidney dialysis and a
breathing machine. Doctors gave him two powerful
drugs to raise his blood pressure, which was
Those efforts came too
late in Salia's illness. He died 36 hours of
cardiac arrest after arriving in Omaha.
"The earlier you start
supportive care, the better," Smith said. Thomas
Geisbert, a professor of microbiology and
immunology at the University of Texas Medical
Branch, has researched experimental Ebola
therapies in animals for years. When getting
therapy to people infected with the disease,
"every day matters; every hour matters," he
Given what we now know
about the incompetence of Save the Children as
well as the uncaring attitude of the thing which
passes for a government headed by the rat, we
would urge the government of the United Kingdom
to press for an inquiry into the circumstances
leading to the delay in giving Dr Martin Salia
the vital treatment after he was tested and
confirmed the second time round.
We would want to know
why it took so long for him to be flown for
medical treatment in the United States and more
importantly, why he was not given the vital
treatment that could have saved his life in
Sierra Leone. We need answers.
online source has opened a permanent book of
condolence that could be
May his soul rest in perfect peace.