Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Outrageous Private Sector Blunder!

It is not fair!
‘Mali awaits anxiously the all clear’ wrote the Guardian just a few  hours ago on its internet site. One hour later, the Malian health authorities confirm a new death from Ebola. This time in Bamako, at  the prestigious Clinique  Pasteur, the clinic for the Malian elite and the Bamako Toubabs. A nurse died last night. She had been in close constant contact with a patient who had been cared for at the clinic a couple of weeks ago. The patient  was from Guinea, and had suffered from an unspecified disease. His body had been repatriated to Guinea. The case has nothing to do with the previous case of the little girl and the grand mother..

Mali has been waiting with bated breath to be able to announce the joyous news tomorrow that not one amongst the 107 people under surveillance has been contaminated. The Malian health authorities have conducted themselves in an exemplary manner and everything has been done according to the book. They should be warmly congratulated, as should the ordinary Malian people who have changed their way of behaviour. I travelled on a Bani bus last week from Bamako to Djenne Carrefour. When we stopped for food in San I noticed several plastic wash basins with soap and Omo for people’s use outside the public toilets and by every food station. I saw every body washing their hands thoroughly before eating.  

But this new case- in fact these two new cases (!) - are different. They are in the private sector. Panic will spread in the expat community in Bamako. I do not know the whole story, but it certainly looks as if the Clinique  Pasteur is guilty of severe negligence. How could they even treat a patient from Guinea without taking the necessary precautions and without testing for ebola? I do not believe this would have been the case in any  public health centre run by Malian health authority officials.
The nurse who died last night, as well as the patient who died two weeks ago,  were treated at this clinic for several days . The body of the Guinean was repatriated to Guinea for burial, all without any precautions whatsoever!!  And meanwhile people have been coming and going as normal to the Clinique Pasteur! It  looks like a cover-up. It is outrageous.
I am curious to see the reactions among my Bamako friends in the international and diplomatic community who use the Clinique Pasteur on a daily basis.


Blogger Susan Scheid said...

Thank goodness you are there to set and keep the record straight about such things. I recently read about the public sector's exemplary handling of the first ebola case and ongoing precautions reported in the New York Times; what excuse can there possibly be for this private sector failure? (I put a link to the NY Times article for you in a new comment on your ebola psychosis post.)

2:14 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

Dear Susan;
thank you. I did read the New York Times article when it came out in fact, and wanted to put a link up on my blog,but decided to wait until Friday when the quarantain has run its course... It is unwise to tempt fate, and I am a little superstitious.But in fact the article still stands. The public sector is not touched by this new disaster. I do still believe that we will not have a major epidemic here. I believe this case is due to this Clinic's criminal reluctance to be associated with ebola- they must have swept it under the carpet and hoped it would just 'go away' so they would be able to keep treating their privileged clientel: the diplomats and the ministers...

3:01 PM  
Blogger latrouss said...

Susan, I would say the money excuse. Look, during the strike in Sept 2014, a worker in our hospital brought a patient for me to see because the physician in charge was on strike. I agreed. When I started asking names and..., I noticed the Guiean, and asked "where are you from?". They said Guinea. I immediately took all precautions and limited my clinical exam, though he had no fever. The private sector is not as better than the public in Mali. Almost all the people that work in private are in the public. What is not comprehensible here is that, according to many people, they went to Guinea to get him, and after he died they used their ambulance to take him back. Let's say they did not know. But a patient from an infected area! Come on! And why use an ambulance to carry a dead? It shows the weakness of the border health control. How did they let this guy enter and the dead go out without asking about the circumstances of the death. Any death in guinea or of a guinean should be considered as potential case until proven otherwise. The sad part of it is that this was Oct 27th and he was taken first in a mosque washed there before taken back home. Who knows all the contacts or the hidden cases? There is a lie that all are in quarantine. The TV program did not change to aggressively address this, the government is mulling about the other suspected or confirmed cases. By doing so they will create doubt on people's mind about their trustworthyness and will appear as not reliable because we hear cases from the French ran radio. Pray for us.

5:10 PM  

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