Hope in Sierra Leone

Regan Marsh wears personal protective equipment to admit a patient.
Regan Marsh wears personal protective equipment to admit a patient.

Regan Marsh, MD, MPH, of BWH’s Department of Emergency Medicine, shares the following update from Sierra Leone, where she is working with Partners In Health (PIH) to care for Ebola patients. Although the situation is dire, Regan says, “There is definitely hope.”

Partners In Health is managing Ebola in 4 regions of Sierra Leone, including an Ebola Treatment Unit, a maternity hospital, two public hospitals and many rural community sites. I am primarily based at the Government Hospital in Port Loko, trying to effectively reopen it in a robust fashion, since it was deeply impacted on all levels by the epidemic.

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BWFH experts help provide quality healthcare to women in Rwanda

Virtually unknown in the United States, obstetric fistulae, or holes between either the rectum and vagina or the bladder and vagina, which develop after difficult childbirth, leave thousands of women in Africa incontinent. As a result, these women, many of whom are very young and very poor, are ostracized from their community. Since 2003, it has been the mission of the International Organization for Women and Development (IOWD) to bring volunteer surgeons and nurses to Africa to operate and care for these women. At the same time, the group trains the local surgeons in these surgical skills.


In 2003, Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital OR nurse Kathleen Scott, RN, traveled to Niger with the IOWD for the first time. “It’s something I always wanted to do,” says Scott. “And I just got hooked.” Since then, she has traveled with the IOWD to Niger and then Rwanda every year until 2010. “It’s a great group. The doctors come from all over the country,” says Scott. “The thing that’s special about this group is that they train the local doctors and nurses to do the work. You leave the groundwork behind.” Continue reading “BWFH experts help provide quality healthcare to women in Rwanda”

Ebola, A Year After the Epidemic Began

December marked one year since the first case of Ebola was found in Guinea, leading up to the deadliest Ebola epidemic in history.

Rajesh Panjabi, MD, MPH, of BWH’s Division of Global Health Equity and co-founder and CEO of Last Mile Health, recently returned from Liberia where he has been working with the government and other partners to respond. He spoke with WBUR’s “Here and Now” about the outbreak, the progress we have made and the new challenges we are facing in fighting the disease.

Panjabi told WBUR: “Ebola anywhere is a threat to people everywhere, and so you cannot have almost zero with Ebola. You’ve got to get to zero cases.”

Read more: http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2014/12/29/ebola-year-update