Via The Wall Street Journal: For Want of Gloves, Ebola Doctors Die. Excerpt:
SERGEANT KOLLIE TOWN, Liberia—Rubber gloves were nearly as scarce as doctors in this part of rural Liberia, so Melvin Korkor would swaddle his hands in plastic grocery bags to deliver babies.
His staff didn't bother even with those when a woman in her 30s stopped by complaining of a headache. Five nurses, a lab technician—then a local woman who was helping out—cared for her with their bare hands.
Within weeks, all of them died. The woman with a headache, they learned too late, had Ebola.
Somewhere in the workplace exchange of handshakes and sweat, Dr. Korkor caught the virus, too. For five days, he read the Bible on a cot in an Ebola ward, watching his colleagues bleed to death from a disease they weren't equipped or trained to treat. Across the room, a nurse pregnant with what would have been her third child slipped away. "She told me 'Doc, I'm dying,' " he recalled Kou Gbanjah saying.
Though Dr. Korkor survived, his hospital has closed, as have dozens of other health centers in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. It is a devastating setback for countries facing a range of deadly diseases in addition to Ebola. The World Health Organization estimates the region's Ebola outbreak has killed 1,145 people, roughly half the 2,127 believed to have been infected. West African countries that had only begun to climb out from civil war and poverty have slipped into economic disarray.
Much of this toll could have been avoided or at least mitigated, hospital workers on the front lines say, if they had been provided with medical basics, starting with one of the simplest: disposable rubber gloves.
Instead, health workers have been treating many patients with unprotected hands, greatly increasing the risk the Ebola virus will kill the very professionals trying to fight it.