Chair of the trustees Dr Rob Morris writes:
“Inevitably it happened – on June 10th, at about 10.00am, a motorcycle arrived at the entrance to the hospital carrying a sick 4 year old child. As with everyone coming in, they were channelled through the Ebola screening unit. His forehead skin temperature (cooled by the chill factor of the wind on the motorcycle ride) was 37.6 degrees C.
“The story given was that he came from Kirembo, just one and a half miles (nearly 2 Km) from Kagando, with no suggestion that he might have had contact with the fearful disease, Ebola – so, he was allowed through into the Outpatients’ Department where Robert, a senior nurse, weighed him, took his blood pressure, pulse and respiratory rate; his temperature had risen, and he was obviously unwell. So Mollin (pronounced Moreen), a clinical officer, started to examine him. Recognising how sick he was she planned to admit him immediately onto the children’s ward – which was, as always, full to capacity. BUT before leaving Mollin’s office the child passed diarrhoea with blood in it. Concerned that his mother’s story had not really seemed to fully add up, suspecting that he could have Ebola, Mollin immediately stopped his transfer to the children’s ward, and arranged for him to be isolated and transferred to the Ebola Treatment Centre by special dedicated ambulance 20 miles away in Bwera.
“Mollin’s wise and quick action almost certainly saved many lives. This little boy had in fact been brought direct from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where other older members of his family had already died in the community from Ebola, and this proved to be what he also was suffering from; sadly he died later that evening, as did also his grandmother. Along with Kagando staff Robert and Mollin at least 27 others had had contact with this child and were at risk of a disease with a risk of death of between 65 and 95%. Mollin and Robert remain in quarantine as we write this, and are miraculously well; if they remain well until July 1st the Ebola Virus incubation period will have passed, and a huge weight of anxiety will have lifted. Please pray for them and for all the other potential Ebola contacts.
“A report a few days ago is quoted as saying: “Refusal to believe in the existence of Ebola is one difficulty for doctors who say the current outbreak of the deadly virus in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the ‘most complex public health emergency in history’” and warn it could drag on for months or even years.
“As of Sunday 23rd June, 1,506 people have died out of 2,239 recorded cases of Ebola in this epidemic.
“Deceit, fear, false beliefs, darkness, superstition and death… these are marks of the work of the evil one in our world, and can be found in some way or other in every community on earth. At Kagando on the 10th June, and in many communities in Congo at this time the reality of evil was and is stark, and feels very close.
“Jesus said “I have come to give life, life in all its fullness” (John 10:10); Kagando exists to be a beacon inviting people to the Light of the World in whom is life, life in all its fullness. As you receive this month’s news and prayer bulletin, please pray that Kagando would be faithful to the Light of the world.”