Although West Africa, the site of the worst-ever Ebola outbreak, has virtually no healthcare infrastructure of their own, potential and already diagnosed Ebola patients are still getting the medical treatment they deserve – thanks to the aid of foreign doctors and nurses, from countries like Europe, the United States, Canada, and Australia.
According to the World Health Organization, there are only one or two doctors for every 100,000 people in the top three cities hit the hardest by the disease, and the numbers are depleting as local medical workers become infected with the disease themselves. International aid workers, including American nurses and doctors, have been crucial in making up the difference.
Humanitarian groups, such as Doctors Without Borders, run Ebola clinics throughout the affected regions. The hospitals are well-organized, and comprised of an incredibly dedicated volunteer staff. With more than 1,800 staff members responding to the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria, the group has been providing medical attention to those who need it the most.
In an effort to add a personal touch to their service, volunteer doctors and nurses treat their patients as humans instead of specimens. Instead of sending patients home alone, they take them home themselves, shake their hands to show they’re not afraid, and give them a certificate verifying they’re free from the illness. They hope these signs will help the patients overcome stigma and be accepted back into their communities with open arms.
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