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Sunday, November 19, 2017
HomeHealthDeaths From Ebola Without Infection

Deaths From Ebola Without Infection

The number of people infected with Ebola is now over 2,200, with more than 1,200 people dying from the virus. But the death toll from Ebola in Liberia may be much higher as it seriously compromises the country’s health care system.  Buzzfeed’s Jina Moore reported from Monrovia this week that the country’s Minister of Health estimates that 75% of the deaths are women who are in formal or informal caregiving roles. This includes nurses, who have been infected while caring for patients. Some of these patients were thought not to be infected but later died from the virus. Others were known to be infected, but the nurses and others caring for seriously ill patients with Ebola have been lacking the personal protective equipment that we take for granted in the U.S.  In a nation that already suffered from a shortage of nurses and other health care workers, Ebola has killed some health care workers and has caused others to leave hospitals. Those needing health care for other reasons may fear going to hospitals or clinics and, if they do go, may find that the hospital has closed because it doesn’t have enough staff. Pregnant women who needed help with complicated deliveries have died, and it is estimated that people with other health conditions other than Ebola are also dying because of a lack of health care.

Today on Healthstyles, c0-producer and host Diana Mason, PhD, RN, talks with three nurses with recent experience in Liberia about that nation’s capacity for delivering health care now and in the future: Harriette Dolo, Liberian certified midwife and registered nurse who is Director of the Esther Bacon School of Nursing and Midwifery at Curran Lutheran Hospital in Zorzor, Lofa County, Liberia (the county with the highest incidence of Ebola); Dorcas Kunkel, DNP, RN, APHN, assistant clinical professor of nursing at the University of Minnesota and volunteer faculty at the Mother Patern College of Health Sciences in Monrovia, Liberia; and Magdeline Aagard, RN, EdD, nurse educator and international consultant who is also a volunteer faculty at the Mother Patern College of Health Sciences.

Tune in today at 1:00 to Healthstyles on WBAI, 99.5 FM (, or click here to listen to the interview:


Healthstyles is sponsored by the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College, City University of New York.


Written by

<p>Diana is a co-director of the GW Nursing Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement and founder of HealthCetera. She was previously president of the American Academy of Nursing. She is senior policy professor at George Washington University and the Rudin Professor of Nursing at Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing. She is a health policy expert and leader. Diana tweets @djmasonrn.</p>

Latest comments

  • Great work there by Mrs Dolo and Doctors Kunkel and Aagard. One way to reduce the spread of ebola in Liberia and the sub-region is extensive health education in simple and plain language that even an illiterate person can understand. To do this, the services of influential people must be employed: family heads, community leaders, politicians, pastors, imam, radio broadcasters and anyone who with the will to influence a group of people. Since denial seems to be a great challenge, pictures and videos of those who have died of the virus should be shown so people would sense the reality and existence of ebola. The fight against this disease requires the collective effort Liberians as well as neighboring countries.

  • Thank you for your comments, Stephen. All very good points.

  • Well done. Was in Zorzor back in 2009, on a service project trip with a small group of veteran Peace Corps volunteers and others. The Curran hospital was well run. They have excellent high speed Internet connection in their library, with 6 computers.
    The Curran hospital was basically destroyed (only the outside walls remained) not once, but twice during the wars/civil unrest in the 90’s. This hospital is sponsored by American Lutherans and God bless them for rebuilding the hospital twice. Such faith.

    Our Peace Corps LIberia group recently raised $20,000 to combat Ebola in Liberia. Half to Global Ministries and half to Doctors Without Borders.

    Am FB friends with two Liberian nurses. One is the dean of the health section at a community college just north of Monrovia. Recently he and 4 others volunteered to go to Lofa county for 4 days to do outreach there. He hasn’t posted much, most likely because he is very busy.

    The other FB friend is a nurse at a clinic in the village where I was a Peace Corps volunteer back in 1980/81. He is frustrated by the lack of supplies to fight Ebola. So far he has only rec’d two buckets and a scattering of related supplies.
    I re-posted a photo of him at my Facebook page (Janice Flahiff).

    Will be passing this article on to the Peace Corps Liberia FB page as well as the two Liberian nurses. Most likely nothing new to the Liberian nurses. But hopefully they will continue to see that they are not alone in fighting this epidemic.

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