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It's hard to imagine it now, when the death toll from Ebola is in the thousands. But just a few months ago, you could count the victims one at a time.

For Dr. Joshua Mugele, the counting began one morning in June when he showed up for work at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia. Mugele, an ER doc and associate professor of clinical emergency medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine, was on a fellowship, working with staff to develop disaster readiness programs. The project had nothing to do with Ebola.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

One of the biggest roadblocks in West Africa to containing the Ebola outbreak is the lack of isolation wards for people who are infected.

President Obama has announced plans to build 17 new Ebola Treatment Units in Liberia. Those new medical facilities will require thousands of additional workers who are trained and willing to work in them.

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ARUN RATH, HOST:

In West Africa, one of the simplest ways to slow the Ebola outbreak is to educate people about how to keep from getting infected with the virus. Now, there are some signs that Ebola awareness is indeed driving down the number of cases in parts of Liberia — and Liberian musicians and DJs may deserve some of the credit.

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ARUN RATH, HOST:

Sometimes you can tell a lot about a country just by walking its beaches. That's what I did on my last day in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, where I was on assignment covering the Ebola epidemic.

Standing at water's edge, facing the sea. The smooth blue rollers come splashing in, steady, hypnotic — like oceans anywhere in the world.

NPR global health correspondent Jason Beaubien is on his third trip to cover Ebola in West Africa — to Sierra Leone in July, and to Liberia in August and now this month. He sees big changes. Yet some things remain the same.

What's your impression this time around?

A Ride In Monrovia Means Wrestling With Ebola

Oct 12, 2014

Monrovia, Liberia's capital, is a city that relies on public transportation — buses, private vans (also known locally as buses), cars and motorcycle taxis. And you can't use any of these options without coming into contact with other people, whether you're jostling in line or wrapping your arms around a motorcycle taxi driver.

Since the Ebola outbreak, Monrovia has placed new restrictions on public transport, and fewer drivers are willing to take chances. So there aren't as many options for commuters at a time when Ebola has made everyone afraid of touching strangers.

A health care worker in Texas who cared for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan has been confirmed to have the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The head of the CDC says the infection stems from a breach in protocol that officials are working to identify.

Investors Flock To Ebola-Related Companies

Oct 11, 2014

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ARUN RATH, HOST:

Today is the International Day of the Girl Child. It is a U.N. event with a grand name and a powerful mission. Girls around the world, especially in lower-income countries, often face terrible things, from genital mutilation to child marriage to kidnapping. We asked five photographers, who devote much or all of their time to documenting the lives of global girls, to share photos with special significance and talk about the images.

Tomorrow marks the third International Day of the Girl Child, designated by the U.N. to highlight the need to create a better world for adolescent girls.

It's a day when activists ramp up efforts to make the public aware of issues like child marriage, violence against girls and the lack of access to education. It's also a time for activists to push world leaders to make commitments — financial or policy-wise — to end those problems.

Dr. Gabriel Logan is a bundle of energy. Wearing a yellow dress shirt untucked from his slacks, he races around the Liberian government hospital compound in Tubmanburg, north of the capital, Monrovia.

He also moves fast on the medical front, experimenting with his own idea of treatment for Ebola patients.

Back in July this hospital, which was the main medical facility for the region, was closed after 10 of the staffers got sick with Ebola.

"We sent them to Monrovia," he says. Of the 10, only one survived.

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Love, respect, integration into communities, work, housing, food and clean water: That's what mentally ill people, like all human beings, need. Instead, in many parts of the developing world, people with mental illness are chained, nearly starved and even locked in a cage with a wild animal like a hyena to scare the demons out of them.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2014 Nashville Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.wpln.org/.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Anne Purfield and Michelle Dynes are epidemiologists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They spent the past several weeks responding to the Ebola epidemic in the Kenema district of Sierra Leone, and recently returned to Atlanta.

One of the many difficult aspects of working around the disease is not being able to comfort people who are grieving, Purfield and Dynes explain during a visit to StoryCorps in Atlanta. (Ebola is spread through contact with bodily fluids.)

"You can't touch anyone," says Purfield, 37. "You can't comfort them."

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is a "tragedy not seen in modern times," said Sierra Leone's president Ernest Bai Koroma.

At the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank on Thursday, Koroma and the presidents of Guinea and Liberia are pleading with the international community for help battling the Ebola epidemic. In the three hardest-hit countries, the virus has already killed nearly 4,000 people.

They call themselves "the Butterflies."

And that's not just wishful thinking.

When Gloria Amparo, Maritza Asprilla Cruz and Mery Medina sweep into NPR's bureau in central London, they are indeed as beautiful as butterflies: bright clothing, big beaming smiles. They look around in wonder at the newsroom spread out before them, laughing and joking as I make them a cup of tea.

Yet these are women who've led tough lives — born into Colombian society, where violence and abuse are commonplace.

The Ebola virus, which killed a patient at a Dallas hospital Wednesday, has become part of the conversation among politicians and pundits — in particular, conservative politicians and pundits. The virus has added heat to conversations about immigration and border control, as well as ongoing criticisms of the Obama administration and the government in general.

Sometimes a fetus can't make it into the birth canal. Both mother and child are at risk. If you were looking to fix the problem, you probably wouldn't call up an Argentine car mechanic.

But maybe you should.

A few weeks ago, scientists issued a dire warning about the Ebola epidemic in West Africa: If nothing changes, the world could have tens of thousands of cases in the coming months.

So how can we tell if things have started to change — if international aid is starting to work?

He liked to joke around with his neighbors. And he always gave them a helping hand. The neighbors that Thomas Eric Duncan's generous spirit is what cost him his life.

Duncan, 42, was the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States and the first to die of the disease on American soil. He likely contracted the disease in Liberia when he carried a pregnant woman, sick with Ebola, into her house after no clinic would admit her.

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