Ebola fighters named Time Person of the Year

Ebola fighters named 2014 Person of the Year by Time magazine

  • Dec. 10, 2014 8:00 a.m.

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.

Surrey North Delta Leader

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

Just Posted

Surrey council to consider a $150 FOI fee for attendance requests at city facilities

This is expected to come before council during tonight’s council meeting, on Monday July 13.

Heritage rail to remain closed for both July and August

Fraser Valley Heritage Rail Society may open Cloverdale Station in September

Delta launches online engagement portal

“Let’s Talk Delta” offers variety of feedback methods including surveys, polls, forums and Q&A boards

Story of ‘A Mother’s Journey to Adoption’ told in book by first-time Surrey author

In the 1990s, Raj Arneja and husband Gurpreet adopted two children in India

Proposed White Rock development a ‘nightmare’ for Elm Street neighbours

Density, traffic, loss of views among chief concerns of residents

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

COVID-19 exposure on Vancouver flight

The Air Canada 8421 flight travelled from Kelowna to Vancouver on July 6

Double homicide investigation leads Vancouver police to Chilliwack

A VPD forensics unit was in Chilliwack Saturday collecting evidence connected to East Van murders

VIDEO: Former Abbotsford resident giving away $1,000

Langley native Alex Johnson creates elaborate treasure hunt to give away cash

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

UPDATE: Abbotsford shooting victim was alleged ‘crime boss,’ according to court documents

Jazzy Sran, 43, was believed to have been smuggling cocaine across the border

Most Read