Via The New York Times: Anne Deborah Atai-Omoruto, Who Helped Lead Ebola Fight in Liberia, Dies at 59. Excerpt:
Anne Deborah Atai-Omoruto, a Ugandan doctor who went to Liberia at the height of the Ebola epidemic in 2014 and helped turn the tide in the battle against the disease, died on Thursday in Kampala, Uganda. She was 59.
The cause was pancreatic cancer, her daughter Acom Victoria said.
Dr. Atai-Omoruto, at the request of the World Health Organization, arrived in Liberia in July 2014 with a team of 14 Ugandan health workers she had gathered.
At the time, the outbreak had reached the capital city, Monrovia; nongovernmental organizations were pulling their workers out of the country; and many governments were unwilling to send medics. Eventually, 4,810 people in Liberia died of the disease and 10,678 were infected, making the country the hardest hit in the region.
Dr. Atai-Omoruto and her team began training more than 1,000 Liberian health workers on how to manage Ebola patients and protect themselves from infection.
She also managed a large treatment unit known as the Island Clinic, a joint initiative of the Liberian government and the W.H.O.
“Everything was in disarray and everybody was running away — she came in and stepped up to the plate,” said Dorbor Jallah, who was the national coordinator for the Ebola task force in the early months of the response. “Nobody knew how to manage an Ebola treatment unit, so she had to step up and play all of these multiple roles.”