King’s Sierra Leone Partnership program director Dr Oliver Johnson of Connaught Hospital Freetown says Khan’s death is a national tragedy:
Dr Khan was widely known and respected for a long career and in leading the fight against Lassa fever. He’d become a real figurehead for the Ebola response so there’s a sense of deep sadness in what’s a very small community here in Freetown.
Dr Khan was friends with many of the senior doctors and nurses at Connaught Hospital, and was well known as a teacher for the medical students who were very sad yesterday, as well as the general public.
When the news first broke that he was sick, I think it added to fears amongst the many doctors and nurses about treating Ebola patients. People thought, if even Dr Khan can get sick, then any of us can get sick.