According to ABC News, a local doctor in Sierra Leone has died of Ebola. ABC claims he was the fifth local doctor in the West African nation to die of the disease.
ABC: “The death of Dr. Godfrey George, medical superintendent of Kambia Government Hospital in northern Sierra Leone, was a blow to efforts to keep desperately needed health care workers safe in a country ravaged by the deadly virus.”
Sierra Leone’s small health care system has been strained by the virus, making it difficult to care for patients.
Its health care system was already fragile before the Ebola epidemic because of past conflict and a lack of resources.
The country had two doctors for every 100,000 people in 2010, compared to about 240 doctors for every 100,000 people in the United States, according to the World Health Organization.
George’s overnight death was announced by Dr. Brima Kargbo, Sierra Leone’s chief medical officer. George had been driven to the capital, Freetown, after reporting that he was not feeling well.
Doctors and nurses have been particularly vulnerable to contracting Ebola, as the virus is spread through bodily fluids. WHO chief Margaret Chan has talked about the disease’s “heavy toll on frontline domestic medical staff.”