Ebola Fighter and TIME Person of the Year Dies

Toni Houston
March 3, 2017

A Liberian nursing assistant who survived Ebola died after hospital employees refused to treat her for an infection caused by childbirth.

"I can do things that other people can't", Karwah told TIME in 2014.

Salome Karwah, 28, from Liberia, gave birth to Jeramiah by cesarean section on February 17.

TIME had chosen to feature a group of Ebola front-line caregivers as Person of the Year in 2014 for "their tireless acts of courage and mercy, for buying the world time to boost its defenses, for risking, for persisting, for sacrificing and saving".

When the outbreak in Liberia ended, and people could have a party without fear of catching the virus, she finally married her fiancé, changed her name to Salome Harris, and had her third child.

"Normally if a Caesarean section is conducted, the person is supposed to stay in the hospital for seven days and monitored to see whether there are complications".


Manley told Time, that after being rushed to the hospital Karwah's " foaming mouth and violent seizures panicked the staff.

Her death has sparked larger conversations about the consequences of health system failure and the ongoing stigmatization of Ebola survivors. Salome Karwah died recently from complications of childbirth; triggering suspicion over the stigma of having previously had Ebola may have contributed to her death.

He said that hospital workers did not treat her as quickly as they could have because of lingering superstitions about Ebola survivors.

"Salome's own experience of Ebola gave her incredible empathy for the patients that she worked so hard to care for", said a statement from Doctors Without Borders, known by its French acronym MSF.

They were kept waiting in their vehicle for three hours because the nurses were afraid to touch her, Mr Harris said.

Salome Karwah Harris, 32, had become one of the country's prominent Ebola fighters after surviving the disease along with her husband in 2014. Instead, "she was stigmatised", Manley said. In an October 2014 essay for the Guardian, Karwah wrote that helping others with the disease brought her pleasure, and that "if someone has Ebola, it isn't good to stigmatize them, because you don't know who is next in line to contract the virus".

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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