The TIME Person of the Year 2014 was the Ebola Fighters.65 More than 500 people lost their lives fighting the EVD crisis.66 This frontline perspective presents three examples of the close-up fight in which Africans engaged the Ebola threat on their home soil.
At the time, Dr. Jerry Brown was the Medical Director and general surgeon at the Eternal Love Winning Africa (ELWA) Hospital, part of a nondenominational Christian mission in Monrovia, Liberia. In March 2014, Dr. Brown learned that Ebola had spread to Liberia. Though EVD was still far from Monrovia, Dr. Brown began preparing for patients to arrive at the hospital. Because of financial restraints, ELWA converted its chapel into a holding centre. At the same time, Dr. Brown began training his staff to handle Ebola cases. Unknown to Dr. Brown, the ELWA chapel would become the first functioning Ebola treatment unit in Monrovia. Before the end of June, Ebola patients filled the chapel facility to capacity. Then, ELWA converted its newly built kitchen and laundry into an EVD treatment unit. Within a week, Ebola patients filled that facility. Because of Dr. Brown’s leadership foresight and action in a time of crisis, ELWA was ready when Ebola came to Monrovia.67 In addition to professionals, many grassroots African organizations joined the fight against Ebola.