The article I have selected is entitled “Woman saves three relatives from Ebola” published by Elizabeth Cohen, Senior Medical Correspondent for CNN on September 26, 2014. According to the report a twenty-two year old Liberian woman saved the lives of her 3 family members, who contracted the deadly Ebola virus. Fatu Kekula nursed her father, mother, sister and cousin, taking care of them all by herself single-handedly feeding them, cleaning them and giving them medications. Unfortunately her cousin lost the fight against the tropical virus.
Her Ebola nightmare started July 27, when her father, Moses, had a spike in blood pressure. She took him to a hospital in their home city of Kakata. A bed was free because a patient had just passed away. What no one realized at the time was that the patient had died of Ebola. Moses, 52, developed a fever, vomiting and diarrhea. When the hospital closed down because nurses started dying of Ebola Fatu took her father to Monrovia, the capital city, a somewhat far distance on difficult roads.
Three hospitals turned him away because they were full. She took him back to another hospital in Kakata where the doctor misdiagnosed him and said he had typhoid fever and did little for him, so Fatu took him home, where he infected three other family members. While operating her one-woman Ebola hospital for two weeks, Fatu consulted with their family doctor, who would talk to her on the phone, but wouldn’t come to the house. She gave them medicines she obtained from the local clinic and fluids through intravenous lines that she started.
After reading this article I went through a rollercoaster of emotions. Firstly I thought of Fatu as a “Superwoman” because of her sheer bravery and tender heartedness for painstakingly trying to help her family members through such a catastrophic epidemic putting her own life in jeopardy. This was truly a miracle. This woman reminded me so much of my own mother not only because she is also a nurse but by the willingness to ensure that her family is safe and in good health.
I believe Fatu’s attitude towards the entire situation was both positive and innovative. This article although inspirational left a bitter taste in my mouth. I was very appalled. “How did such misconduct take place in a healthcare system? ” I did not believe that such unprofessional conduct could transpire at a hospital. It leads me to think, “What if such an incident were to occur in sweet Trinibago? It irked me tremendously to read that Fatu’s father contracted the Ebola virus in sure a foolish manner.
How could professionals be so slack? I think incidence like these are totally unacceptable and can lead to a cascade effect between the people of a country and it healthcare system. This article has helped to open my eyes to the state of our country in this present day. I am increasingly becoming aware that our healthcare system in Trinidad and Tobago is at the brink of failure. Over the past four years there have been many reports in the newspapers regarding poor quality healthcare and misconduct.
It has also awakened the rest of the nation as to where we stand, hence the increasing number of people seeking private health care due to the lack of trust in our public healthcare system and the belief that better and quality health care would be provided privately. One cannot deny the fact that some of our present doctors in this day and age are careless and they are putting a bad name on the entire health care system, even those who save lives on a day to day basis. While I understand there can never be any quick solution, measures can be undertaken to lessen the chances of a situation like this occurring in the future.
Better training of hospital staff and doctors and regular evaluations to ensure that the medical staff remains competent should be implemented as a step towards a better healthcare system. In our country I believe once you know the right people you can get away with anything and this is totally unjust. Doctors need to live by their oaths as it is a formal declaration or promise to fulfill a pledge involving a sacred being. Punishment is only a fair criterion for poor conduct as a healthcare professional as there is a duty bestowed on them to be professional, ethical and competent.