الأحد , يونيو 14 2020

Ebola kills man who helped orphans

Augustine Baker (January 2015)Augustine Baker’s role in tackling the Ebola virus has been widely admired

A Sierra Leonean who worked with children orphaned by Ebola has died of the disease himself.

Augustine Baker had been admitted to an Ebola treatment centre after becoming ill last week.

He had worked for an orphanage run by a UK charity on the outskirts of Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown.

Thirty-three children and seven staff at the St George Foundation orphanage have been in quarantine since Mr Baker was diagnosed with the deadly virus.

Ebola has killed more than 9,500 people in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

But in recent weeks, the crisis has eased and the governments of the three countries have pledged to achieve zero Ebola infections within the next two months.



Orphans in Freetown, Sierra Leone

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The BBC’s Tulip Mazumdar reported from St George Foundation orphanage last month

The BBC’s Umaru Fofana in Freetown often worked with Mr Baker and describes him as an unsung hero.

At the height of the Ebola crisis he would go into high-risk communities to help children who had been orphaned by the disease, our correspondent says.

With his backpack on and his notebook and pen handy, Mr Baker would collect data and go and find the children to take them to the orphanage, he recalls.

When Mr Baker was diagnosed with Ebola, orphanage co-founder Philip Dean said he had “worked tirelessly to help children orphaned by the disease”.

“He knew that he was at risk but did the job because it needed to be done,” Mr Dean added.

The orphanage was set up in 2004 and, until the Ebola outbreak, was mainly concerned with rescuing street children.

In the last year it has helped care for some 200 children orphaned by Ebola.

Ebola deaths

Figures up to 17-21 February 2015

9,556

Deaths – probable, confirmed and suspected

(Includes one in the US and six in Mali)

  • 4,032 Liberia

  • 3,423 Sierra Leone

  • 2,086 Guinea

  • 8 Nigeria

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