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Sierra Leone News: Bo loses an Ebola Ambulance Driver

A-middle aged man from the Towama Community and that drives an Ambulance for the Bo Health Management has passed away yesterday October 31 as a cause of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease that is plaguing the country. The man, who was married and with some children, died while receiving treatment at the Bo District Bandajuma Ebola Treatment Center.
The deceased who was named John Williams drives one of the ambulances attached to the Bo District Health Management Team. The particular ambulance that he drove was one responsible for carrying “Ebola suspects” to the treatment centers in Kenema and Kailahun and later to the just-constructed Bandajuma Ebola center.
The deceased is believed to have contracted the virus during routine work either in the ambulance normal working while on his normal routine.
Upon noticing that he had contracted the virus, the past man resorted to visiting a private clinic.
The DHMT upon receiving the information then went ahead of going and extracting the man from the clinic that is situated at the home of the erstwhile Mayor of Bo, Dr. Wusu Sannoh. The clinic has been fumigated and closed for now with the nurses and wife and children of the deceased being quarantined at their Towama residence.
At the usual Saturday Emergency Operations Centre Press Conference, Dr. Turay the District Medical Officer could not tell whether driver’s death was due to negligence, noting that it is the first time that they are experiencing such kind of death especially of a driver.
Stringent precautionary guidelines, he assured the press, are in place for drivers to observe and adhere to while they are on duty driving, noting that drivers of ambulances are “as a matter of procedure not allowed to handle Ebola cases of any sort” he said.
He however indicated that the deceased driver may have contracted the virus by a simple mistake and the Ebola virus does, he stated, does not entertain any iota of mistake.
The Resource Mobilization Committee Head, Gassimu Mallah trying to explain the possible source (which Dr. Turay has earlier said was unclear) of the dead driver’s contraction of the virus revealed, “many at times I have met ambulance drivers who have stopped their vehicles along the roads or in small villages only to drink palm wine.” He said some of these drivers deliberately flout the guidelines given to them either during the course of conveying patients to treatment centers or transporting discharged patients to their homes.
By Jenkins Bawoh
Tuesday Novermber 04, 2014

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