Ebola fighters named Time Person of the Year

Ebola fighters named 2014 Person of the Year by Time magazine

  • Dec. 10, 2014 7:00 a.m.
This image provided by Time Magazine

This image provided by Time Magazine

By Kiley Armstrong, The Associated Press

NEW YORK – Doctors, nurses and others fighting Ebola through “tireless acts of courage and mercy” have been named Time’s 2014 Person of the Year, the magazine announced Wednesday.

The runners-up included Ferguson, Missouri, protesters; Russian President Vladimir Putin; Kurdish Regional Government President Massoud Barzani; and Jack Ma, the China-based founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba.

Time’s editor, Nancy Gibbs, praised “the people in the field, the special forces of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the Christian medical-relief workers of Samaritan’s Purse and many others from all over the world” who “fought side by side with local doctors and nurses, ambulance drivers and burial teams.”

Gibbs noted that the disease has struck doctors and nurses.

“The rest of the world can sleep at night because a group of men and women are willing to stand and fight,” she wrote. They were cited “for tireless acts of courage and mercy, for buying the world time to boost its defences, for risking, for persisting, for sacrificing and saving.”

Antoine Petibon, head of international programs for the French Red Cross, which has been active in Guinea’s anti-Ebola efforts, called it “great recognition for all these people who have been toiling in the shadows.”

“If it helps us wipe out this epidemic faster, all the better,” Petibon added.

The disease has taken its toll in myriad ways.

In September, a team trying to inform villagers about Ebola in the forests of southern Guinea was attacked by a mob. The bodies of eight people — two local administrators, two medical officers, a preacher and three journalists, were found stuffed in a latrine.

Less than a month after arriving in Guinea, Cuban Dr. Jorge Juan Guerra Rodriguez died of malaria.

Henry Gray, MSF operations co-ordinator for the Ebola response in Guinea and Liberia, said the spotlight should be on the patients and the thousands of people in Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Mali “who are doing their best to deal with this horrendous outbreak.”

Gray, speaking by phone from Conakry, the Guinea capita, said, “We are happy for this recognition but will be even happier when the last Ebola treatment centre is closed and the crisis is declared over.”

Birte Hald, head of emergency operations for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said “front-line fighters” deserve recognition.

“People like myself, we are working hard, but we are not at risk,” Hald said from Nairobi. “People doing the safe and dignified burials, the contact tracing and the transport of the sick, working in the treatment centres — these are the people who deserve our praise and respect.”

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said President Barack Obama and his administration “could not be prouder of the brave men and women who have committed themselves to this effort in a foreign land. … But we must not forget that in order to bring this epidemic under control on the front lines, indeed the only way to prevent additional cases here in the United States, we need more of these medical professionals.”

Christos Stylianides, European Union Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, agreed.

“We urgently need more health workers on the ground,” said Stylianides. “The crisis is not over, and will not be unless we scale up the numbers of medical staff, field hospitals, laboratories and humanitarian aid.”

___

Associated Press writers Michelle Faul in York, England; John-Thor Dahlburg in Brussels; and Nedra Pickler in Washington contributed to this report.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The City of Victoria filed a petition with the Supreme Court of B.C. March 2 to have it clarify whether, under the Trustee Act, Beacon Hill Park can be used for temporary sheltering. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria asks court to clarify if Beacon Hill Park can be used for sheltering

City of Victoria filed petition to Supreme Court of B.C. March 2

The application proposing to rezone Western Speedway was passed by Langford’s planning, zoning and affordable housing committee Feb 8. A petition has since been started by residents of Trudie Terrace, hoping to stop the proposed residential portion of the development plan. (CBRE Victoria)
Petition opposing Western Speedway development proposal gains steam

Save Thetis Heights Neighborhood petition aims to stop extension of Trudie Terrace

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

Boma Brown won the Emerging Leader Award for her work founding the Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour. (Courtesy of Boma Brown)
Victoria SNIWWOC founder up for national women’s award for volunteer efforts

Victoria’s Boma Brown is a semi-finalist in the running for the L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth award

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

.
LETTER: Anti-semitism definition lacking

Re: We must identify anti-Semitism and combat it (Online, Feb. 26) I… Continue reading

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

Most Read