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With Ebola crippling the health system, Liberians die of routine medical problems

Citation: 
Lenny Bernstein. With Ebola crippling the health system, Liberians die of routine medical problems. Washington Post, Sept, 2014.
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'Western experts said that people here are dying of preventable or treatable conditions such as malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia and the effects of high blood pressure and diabetes, such as strokes. Where services do exist, Ebola has complicated the effort to provide them by stoking fear among health-care workers, who sometimes turn away sick people or women in labor if they can't determine whether the patient is infected. And some people, health-care workers said, will not seek care, fearful that they will become infected with Ebola at a clinic or hospital.' "If you stub your toe now in Monrovia, you'll have a hard time getting care, let alone having a heart attack or malaria," said Sheldon Yett, the Liberia representative for UNICEF. "It's a tremendous threat to children and a tremendous threat to families."... For a few weeks in August, the government ordered all health facilities nationwide closed because so many nurses were becoming infected with Ebola.' [comment from HIFA moderator] The article includes a disturbing 2-minute video outside an Ebola treatment centre in Liberia. A pregnant woman lies dead outside the centre, to which she had been referred 'because she had no evidence she was free of Ebola... With no evidence that she had Ebola, the isolation center would not bring her inside... A doctor subsequently confirmed the woman had died from high blood pressure and diabetic coma. Meanwhile, a minibus full of suspected Ebola cases arrives, but are refused entry, with the guards saying the hospital is full. 'The government are not doing nothing. They are killing our people,' says a bystander in desperation.

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Author(s): 
Lenny Bernstein
Year published: 
2014
Month published: 
September