“Everyone is on their guard, including the medical personnel”
Dr. Elhadj Bah is a doctor at Donka Hospital, and has been serving in the Ebola treatment center since the outbreak of the disease. He is one of the few specialists on infectious disease in Guinea.
Q: Where were you when you first heard of Ebola?
A: I was at the hospital, working in the Infectious Diseases ward.
Q: What were your first thoughts when you heard of the outbreak?
A: I was very surprised by the news, wondering where this could have been from. Knowing that there is no medicine, I was quite pessimistic at the beginning, thinking that we’re all doomed.
Q: What changes did you observe in the hospital in general?
A: Hygiene measures are taken very seriously now. The use of bleach and chlorine has exponentially increased, and visitors were required to wash their hands before entering the hospital grounds. Everyone is on their guard, including the medical personnel. Many doctors even abandoned the hospital. At the onset, some doctors believed that this is a disease that had come to ravage the medical personnel so many doctors ‘scurried away’ and were nowhere to be seen for a long time.
Q: Did Ebola change the day to day functioning of your work?
A: Yes, it changed many things. The relationship between the doctors and the patients has changed a lot, people are much more careful. For instance, before the outbreak, the doctors would seldom wear protective gloves during examinations, and now it’s systematic. Additionally, we’ve received lots of attention as a result of this disease, and there were several interview requests. The collaboration with the partners has improved as well.