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Salome Karwah Dies: Liberian Ebola Fighter Loses Life After Childbirth

Image: Salome Karwah Dies: Liberian Ebola Fighter Loses Life After Childbirth

Salome Karwah, a nurse in Liberia during 2014's Ebola outbreak, died Feb. 21 after childbirth complications. (Time/Jackie Nickerson)

By    |   Monday, 27 Feb 2017 05:43 PM

Salome Karwah died last week from complications of childbirth and the lasting stigma of having previously had Ebola likely contributed to her death.

Karwah was a nursing assistant during the West African Ebola outbreak of 2014 that killed 11,310 people and survived the disease herself. She was named among the Ebola Fighters celebrated as Time magazine’s Person of the Year in 2014.

Karwah delivered her fourth child by caesarian section three days before she went into convulsions and was rushed back to the hospital. Because she was having seizures and foaming at the mouth, the staff panicked and refused to treat her, fearing wrongly that they might be exposed to Ebola through her fluids because she had the disease years earlier, Time magazine reported. She died the next day, Feb. 21.

During the Ebola outbreak of 2014, Karwah lost her parents, brother, aunts, uncles, cousins and a niece to the disease. She, her sister Josephine Manley, and her fiance James Harris, survived, and they returned to their town after recovering from the disease to reopen the family’s medical clinic where her father had been a doctor before he died.

Those who have had the disease and survived are immune for life, so she was able to care for the Ebola patients there without fear, Time reported.

She married her fiancé after the outbreak ended and gave birth to their second child just before her death.

“My heart is broken,” sister Manley said, Time reported. “Salome loves her children, her James. The 1-year-old, the newborn, they will grow up never remembering their mother’s face.”

Ella Watson-Stryker, who worked with Karwah in Liberia and was also on Time’s cover, was devastated.

“To survive Ebola and then die in the larger yet silent epidemic of health system failure ... I have no words,” she said, Time reported.

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Salome Karwah died last week from complications of childbirth and the lasting stigma of having previously had Ebola likely contributed to her death. Karwah was a nursing assistant during the West African Ebola outbreak of 2014 that killed 11,310 people and survived the disease herself.
salome karwah, dies, ebola, fighter
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Monday, 27 Feb 2017 05:43 PM
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