Catholic hospital Director dies in Liberia from Ebola

Agenzia Fides – the News Agency for the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples – has reported the death of Brother Patrick Nshamdze, OH, Director of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia. Br Patrick, aged 52, was a professed member of the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of God. He died after contracting the Ebola virus. Brother Patrick was a native of Cameroon, had studied in Rome for 2 years and was general director of the hospital in Monrovia.

Speaking to FIDES, the OH General Councillor for Africa [Br Pascal Ahodgnon] said: “The authorities have isolated all public offices and also our hospital in order to carry out the operations of disinfestation” He further added that “another of our confreres, of Spanish nationality, and two sisters have been hospitalized“.

According to Brother Pascal, “Liberia is isolated but we continue to provide assistance with our facilities while our NGO is sending aid, which unfortunately is not enough to make up for all the needs“.

As there is still no specific cure for Ebola what is needed are sanitizers, gloves and masks to protect healthcare workers as well as IV’s and anticoagulant to rehydrate patients and stop bleeding. So far these are the only measures to try to prevent the disease from spreading“, he concluded.

Hemorrhagic fever has already killed 887 people in West Africa (especially in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea), according to the latest reports from the World Health Organization. [with thanks to FIDES for the above edited report]

The three missionaries referred to in the above report were also helping to treat victims of the disease at the same hospital as Br Patrick. One of them, Fr Miguel Parajes, was flown home to Spain for treatment.The others two – Sister Chantal Mutwamene [from Congo] and Sister Paciencia Melgar [from Equatorial Guinea] are still believed to be undergoing treatment in Monrovia.

The Society of African Missions [SMA] has priests working in Liberia [Archdiocese of Monrovia and Gbarnga diocese] and also in Sierra Leone. It is widely believed that the numbers quoted for deaths etc from Ebola  in both countries is much less than is actually the case.