June 20, 2021

Doctor who helped turn the tide against Ebola in Liberia is reported dead at 59

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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.

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Dr. Anne, right, on duty in Liberia

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.

Story culled from the New York Times

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