Via Politico SL News: Dr Khan to be buried in Port Loko.
Dr Shek Umar Khan, the man leading Sierra Leone’s fight against the deadly Ebola disease, died yesterday, days after he had tested positive for the virus. He was aged 39.
He was receiving treatment at the MSF-run centre in Kailahun where he had been taken in shortly after he was diagnosed with the virus.
The Kailahun District Medical Officer, Dr James Squire told Politico that he would be buried in his home district of Port Loko, likely today. He said his remains had been disinfected by MSF and that a medical team would lead the burial in the northern district.
Dr Khan died just as President Ernest Bai Koroma had arrived in Kailahun to visit him and families of other victims of the viral haemorrhagic fever. According to civil society activist Charles Mambu, the president cut short his address to the townspeople when news came through about the passing of the only viral haemorrhagic fever specialist in Sierra Leone. He later visited the centre before leaving for Freetown by road instead of the helicopter he had used to fly in.
The country’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Brima Kargbo said he was in shock at news of Dr Khan’s death. “It is a big and irreparable loss to Sierra Leone as he was the only specialist the country had in viral haemorrhagic fevers” Dr Kargbo said.
Health Minister, Miatta Kargbo had described him as “a national hero” upon his diagnosis and called for a national prayer.