Monrovia – The cold hands of Ebola have dealt yet another blow to the Catholic Hospital: Laurene Togba, a nurse and Sister Chantal Pascaline both died last weekend as a result of the deadly outbreak.
Sister Pascaline belonged to a Catholic humanitarian group based in Spain and a native of The Congo. The San Juan de Dios hospital order says Saturday that Sister Chantal Pascaline died “from Ebola in the Hospital San Jose de Monrovia, despite the care she received from a volunteer nurse.”
Pascaline belonged to the same order as a Spanish missionary priest and nun evacuated to Madrid by jet this week. Both are in stable condition in a Madrid hospital.
Nurse Togba, a graduate of St. Mary’s High School and the Cuttington University, also succumbed to the virus late Saturday, bringing to three the number of deaths at the hospital in the last two weeks. The hospital recently lost, Mr. Patrick Nshairndze, Chief Administrator.
Messages of support poured on Togba’s Facebook page Sunday with many of her friends, loved ones and peers doling out sympathy: Hawa Evelyn Golakai wrote: Speechless n in tears this morning, God pleases take control over our Land. We do not have the power to do that on our own. Rip Laurene Togba May God the Almighty grant you internal rest.
The wave of deaths from the deadly Ebola on health workers has finally gotten the attention of the national government. President Sirleaf last Saturday, apologized to health workers and paid homage to those who have died in the fight against the deadly outbreak.
Sirleaf, in a meeting with health workers at City Hall in Monrovia, expressed the collective gratitude of the entire nation to health workers, described as “front-line soldiers’ by state radio, LBS, who have continued to make tremendous sacrifices for this country and people.
The government last week launched “Operation White Shield” under which soldiers are deployed in different locations and at checkpoints outside the capital to discourage residents’ movements, part of Sirleaf’s emergency measures to better fight the disease.
“Under the exercise, health workers were stationed next to soldiers at checkpoints Saturday, taking the temperatures of commuters. People with temperatures above normal were blocked from leaving.
The latest Ebola outbreak is the largest and longest ever recorded for the disease and so far has killed at least 961 people, the U.N. The health agency said Friday. It emerged in Guinea in March and has since spread to Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria and now Ghana which issued a red alert Saturday on the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)in the country.
‘It has been confirmed that some Ghanaian fishermen living and fishing along the borders of Liberia have been returning home with symptoms of EVD,’ Xinhua reported citing the ministry. It urged citizens to avoid using public swimming pools and keep strict hygienic practices.