Ebola Claims Catholic Hospital’s Chief Admin
Alaskai Moore Johnson, Observer Health Correspondent
The Daily Observer was told on Saturday, August 2, that the St. Joseph Catholic Hospital Chief Administrator, Bro/Dr. Patrick Nshamdze, has died, having contracted the deadly Ebola virus disease at least three weeks ago. He died Friday, August 1; he was 57.
There were tears Saturday, August 2, at the Christ The King Catholic Church in Gaye Town when news filtered in that Bro Patrick has succumbed to the virus. He was very attached to the church and its members.
Dr. Nshamdze, who preferred to be called “Bro. Patrick”, was from Cameroon and a member of the Catholic Community—Brothers of St. John of God. Bro. Patrick was one of the missionaries assigned at the St. Joseph Catholic Hospital in Congo Town. He was one of those very reliable medical practitioners, who kept the hospital intact and running.
One Catholic source, who preferred to remain anonymous told the Observer that Bro Patrick had contracted the disease from a pregnant lady, who had been transferred from another health facility to the hospital. According to this source, the lady, who too, has died of the virus, came bleeding and it was Bro. Patrick, who had worked on her.
“When Bro. Patrick was told that this lady had died from Ebola, he broke down, because he had had direct contact with her,” our source said.
The Observer was told by other high-placed sources within the Catholic Church that the Church had requested his remains to be interred differently so that the Church and his relatives can one day pay homage to him but their plead was not granted as he was “dumped in a mass grave” containing at least 25 other victims, in Johnsonville, outside Monrovia.
Very nearby the grave in which he and others were “dumped”, lay plywood billboards, indicating all of those buried in that mass grave.
News filtered in late last night that Spain, which provides bulk of the hospital’s supports, was making plans to “evacuate” all the remaining missionary sisters and brothers assigned at the hospital.
If this happens, it could be a deadly blow to the struggling health sector and nation at-large, grappling with the Ebola outbreak, which has claimed so many lives in Liberia. The St. Joseph Catholic Hospital is partially closed at the moment; this would be one last blow to finally close the hospital indefinitely.
The Observer was told that the Catholic Church is expected to meet today to discuss these grave matters, including Bro. Patrick’s death.