All is not well at the Government Hospital situated at Rokupa in the east end of Freetown, following the discovery of an Ebola patient about a week ago.
Fifteen nurses and two Medical Doctors who allegedly had contact with the deceased Ebola patient have been quarantined in an unknown destination, awaiting the expiration of 21 days for them to prove negative or otherwise to the Ebola symptoms.
Meanwhile, it has been reported that the week’s revelation of the deceased Ebola patient saw a firm grip of panic in the entire hospital, with patients voluntarily discharging themselves from their hospital beds, off to their house to secure their remaining lives.
The Medical Superintendent at the Hospital, Dr. Matilda King has said that “such a period was the most terrifying in her experience as a medical practitioner” as nurses and doctors were not able to contain the commotion, except for the maternity ward which still had patients.
Since then, she said, up to the end of last week, patients have not been coming to the hospital for treatment, until yesterday, when they started creeping in gradually.
Dr. Matilda King has said that the issue of the Ebola outbreak is pretty worrisome to them, as it has drastically reduced the moral of health workers, “all of us at the hospital, including myself are apprehensive because we are in constant touch with patients who come to the hospital”.
Dr. King said that the Rokupa Hospital is most vulnerable in relation to the Ebola outbreak considering the fact that it is the first point of call, when somebody comes from the Hospital.
An instance, she mentioned, was the patient who recently died at the hospital.
She said that it has been established that he came from Kenema and was admitted to the hospital for infection in the tonsil-tonsillitis (disease of the throat). But later on during his period of admission, he started exhibiting signs of Ebola; vomiting and oozing blood at every opening of his body.
However, she admitted that prior to the demise of the patient, he had no physical contact with the nurses and doctors, as he came to the hospital already overwhelmed with external symptoms of tonsillitis; apparently depreciated to confidently guarantee physical contact.
As a result, he was monitored on admission until he proved to have been an Ebola patient.
The health workers are therefore quarantined on procedural basis, as every suspected contact is allowed to be quarantined until the period of 21 days, in a bid to determine their status.
Following his death, Dr. King noted, moves have been made by the surveillance team to establish the location of the deceased.
She told Awoko that the deceased medical history showed no fixed address; he had only reported to have resided at Allen Town without stating the address of the house in which he lived.
She claimed that it was rumoured that the deceased was a runaway Ebola patient from one of the Ebola infested territories, which, according to her, lays credence to the fact that containment should be paramount in the bid to put the disease to an end.
By Poindexter Sama
Wednesday July 23, 2014