SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

Urologist Frank Glover testifies on combating ebola

Frank Glover, a medical missionary partnered with the Christian missions organizations SIM, testified before a House panel on Thursday to discuss the fight against ebola in West Africa.

Glover told the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations that immediate action, including increasing efforts to isolate patients, developing an effective quarantine program and other measures would help to stem the outbreak in Liberia.

"This Ebola outbreak in Liberia has exposed the country's inherently weak health system," Glover said. "Less than 200 doctors existed in this country of four million people prior to this epidemic. After the outbreak in March of this year, that number plummeted to only 50 doctors. This occurred as the result of the exodus of 95 percent of the expatriate doctors."

Glover said that unless immediate action is taken in Liberia to improve health services, the death toll is likely to rise into the thousands.

"Many patients are dying with Ebola in their communities, in part, because there are simply no open health facilities," Glover said. "This creates problems, because whole families are getting infected and dying. Given the episodic nature of Ebola, we must begin investing in healthcare systems, strengthening as we prepare to deal with future outbreaks."