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Monday, December 03, 2007

Ebola in Bundibugyo: Monday night, still escalating

The official case count has gone up from 51 to 79 since the initial numbers were released four days ago.  We now have 21 admitted in Bundibugyo (up from 16 yesterday) while only one more patient came to Kikyo (10 total).  Dr. Sessanga continues to struggle on with his case; Dr. Jonah needed IV fluids today but was reported to be stable.  It was another dawn to post-dusk day for Scott, which included two three-hour-long meetings as well as final assembly and initial use of a brand new lawnmower we just imported in the nick of time to keep the airstrip open for the sudden increase in flights.  Three MSF personnel hitched a ride in on the plane that took our team out; more CDC and WHO folks are expected on Wednesday, so keeping the airstrip open is an important part of the logistics of this operation.  Pray for Scott to have wisdom to know his role, to respond with leadership and compassion and wisdom and courage. We are used to being a bit more on the sidelines politically, focusing on patient care.  This crisis throws him into the middle of everything, and the lines of authority are not always clear.  Added to that is the fact that this is a new strain, so if one person makes a statement about transmission and another challenges it, we really can’t be sure who is right, because this epidemic may not progress in the same way that others have done.  The MSF team is impressive and fascinating, they are tracking numbers and plotting maps and have already concluded from interviews that besides patient care in the hospital, the greatest risk factor is the handling of dead bodies at burial.

We do sense the incredible outpouring of concern and prayer from our friends.  It is a bit edgy to go hour to hour with the background thought of . . .do I feel a twinge of nausea, could that be a fever coming on . . . But mostly we remain confident that our measures to protect ourselves even before we knew the gravity of the situation were adequate.  The kids made it to Kampala safe and sound, and compared to the agony of deciding to send them away, the reality of missing them is not nearly as painful.  Scott was remembering the days of war, when the team dwindled down to two or three adults only, it feels like that again now, with all the separation and uncertainty.  

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all you're are doing, our prayers are with you.

mary euler said...

Doctors Scott and Jennifer: I don't know you, but apparently you are my brother and sister. Thank you for spending yourselves for the sake of others and so modeling the heart of our Savior. You know very well that you're not giving up anything. I have written your names on a Post-It at my office and am praying for you, your family, your team and the people you serve. I admire you. I was in Kitgum last month for my job (I work with Food for the Hungry). Love and prayers for you...from across the ocean....

-mary euler

Kevin said...

Hi Scott and Jennifer, I saw the headline in the Health News about the Ebola breakout in Bundibugyo.

We are all praying for you all! May the Lord have mercy on the people of Bundibugyo and grant you all wisdom and protection.

- Kevin

Anonymous said...

There are a whole lot of people all over the world following the situation there. Take care and the best of luck to you and your family.

micandme said...

I'm a nurse and mom of 3 just outside Atlanta, GA. Our family will be making your situation a special prayer project. May God bless you in amazing ways for what you are doing!

~Michelle

Anonymous said...

Keeping you and your families in my prayers! ((hugs))

Anonymous said...

Hello Scott and Jennifer, thank you for being there, guarding the lives of many.
Are you sure it's ebola? Is it possible it could be H5N1?

FloridaRhinoNana said...

Hi Jennifer and Scott, I have been praying since Pat sent me her e-mail on Thursday. I got to talk to Karen on Saturday, and she filled me in even more. I know how difficult it is to not have your children around you, but I also know that God will provide excellent care givers for all of them. We will continue to pray for all of the team, filling our plates with requests, confidently knowing that the God of the Universe is in control and our plates, so full with questions and praise will be blessed and met. Thank you all for showing God's love to everyone there, as you continue to minister to their needs. Don't forget, look after each other first. Even the airlines tell you to put your "mask" on first before assisting others. We need you all healthy, rested and focused. Love and prayers to all. Pat (Nana)

jane. said...

* you are not alone in this.