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Sheik Umar Khan

Sheik Umar Khan5 posts
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23 Jul, 2014

Contracts virus


Khan contracts Ebola and is admitted to a Medecins Sans Frontieres treatment ward in Kailahun, Sierra Leone. Health Minister Miatta Kargbo:

[I will do] anything and everything in my power to ensure he survives.

29 Jul, 2014

Umar Khan dies of Ebola

Death0 Comments

Khan dies after contracting Ebola. Chief medical officer Dr Brima Kargbo:

It is a big and irreparable loss to Sierra Leone as he was the only specialist the country had in viral haemorrhagic fevers.

Doctors without Borders:

His work and dedication have been greatly appreciated by the medical community in Sierra Leone for many years. He will be remembered and missed by many, especially by the doctors and nurses that worked with him. MSF’s sincere thoughts and condolences are with Dr. Khan’s family, friends and colleagues.

30 Jul, 2014

‘National tragedy’


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.

18 Aug, 2014

Khan not given Ebola drug


ebola-khan-not-given-drugAfter Khan’s death, it is discovered that he was not given ZMapp or asked to be a test case although an experimental dose was available. A Canadian team of scientists who had developed ZMapp were testing a dose for resistance to the African climate at a location within reach of the Sierra Leone field hospital where Khan was treated and offered to use it to treat him. However as the drug was untested and Khan’s immune system was fighting the virus, it was decided that the drug had a higher risk of killing him. His colleague, Dr. Daniel Bausch:

You had a person who was sick, and a drug never used on humans before, it wasn’t approved. There were lots of questions to be asked and no easy answers

He believes the final decision was with the field doctors at the hospital but says he disagrees with the refusal of the drug, especially as it was used on :

I do want it to be clear that these were difficult, delicate decisions that people in a stressful situation had to make. But I’m not going to deny that I disagree with the decision they made.