31 July 2014

Liberia: Catholic Hospital Boss Tested Positive of Ebola - Report

Photo: PHOTOESSAY: Ebola Awareness in Liberia

Liberia's president ordered all schools to close and put non-essential government workers on compulsory leave, the latest measures seeking to contain an Ebola outbreak in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Volunteers pray against Ebola while

The Heritage has reliably learnt that the Hospital Director of the Saint Joseph Catholic Hospital, a Catholic run hospital in Liberia, has been tested positive of the deadly Ebola virus.

The Ebola virus, which has no cure, has killed at least 129 people here, and claimed more than 670 lives across the region. A top Liberian doctor working at Liberia's largest hospital died recently, and two American aid workers have fallen ill, underscoring the dangers facing those charged with bringing the outbreak under control.

Also recently, an official of the Ministry of Finance identified as Patrick Sawyer died of the disease at a Lagos hospital.

As a means of containing further spread of the disease, President Johnson-Sirleaf set up a taskforce to help in the fight of the disease and ordered the closure of the country's three land borders.

The Liberian leader also ordered that public gatherings be restricted and communities heavily affected by the Ebola outbreak be quarantined.

Accordingly, the St. Joseph's Catholic Hospital was established in 1963 by the Hospitable Order of the Brothers of St. John of God, with the headquarters in Madrid, Spain.

The hospital has branches in 54 countries throughout the world. Of this number, it operates in 11 countries in Africa including Liberia.

Here in Liberia, the St. Joseph Hospital, which is one of the leading privately run hospitals in the country, is located in Congo Town, outside Monrovia.

According to cogent information gathered by this paper, Rev. Brother Patrick Nshamdze, was tested positive after he supposedly came in contact with a patient who died from the virus.

Our information divulged that on the 17th of this month, his specimen was taken and the result, which came on the next day (July 18), proved negative.

Not being satisfied, the report further divulged, the ailing Catholic hospital director decided to seek further treatment abroad, but his trip was subjected to Ebola test.

It was based on this that he did another test on Tuesday, July 29, 2014, which proved positive, contrary to the first test he underwent.

Rev. Bro. Nshamdze is currently being quarantined at the Catholic Hospital undergoing treatment.

The hospital authorities are contemplating on shutting down the hospital for two weeks for disinfection and chlorination of the entire building.

Contingent on this, several patients, who were undergoing treatment at the hospital, were discharged yesterday in order to continue treatment at other hospitals.

Meanwhile, authorities of the St. Joseph Catholic Hospital could not be reached for comments regarding the information obtained by this paper.

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