Thursday, December 11, 2014

Time Magazine ‘Person of the Year’ Goes to the Ebola Fighters

Time Magazine has revealed the cover of their annual ‘Person of the Year’ issue and this year the editor of the magazine decided to give it to the Ebola fighters.

Time revealed multiple versions of the cover — each highlighting a different Ebola fighter to represent the group. Among those featured on the covers: Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly, Dr. Jerry Brown, nurse aide and survivor Salome Karwah, MSF volunteer health promoter Ella Watson-Stryker, and ambulance team supervisor and survivor Foday Galla.

Nancy Gibbs, Time Magazine editor explains:

2014 is the year an outbreak turned into an epidemic…It reached crowded slums in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone; it traveled to Nigeria and Mali, to Spain, Germany and the U.S. It struck doctors and nurses in unprecedented numbers, wiping out a public-health infrastructure that was weak in the first place….
Anyone willing to treat Ebola victims ran the risk of becoming one…. Governments weren’t equipped to respond; the World Health Organization was in denial and snarled in red tape. First responders were accused of crying wolf, even as the danger grew. But 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 fought side by side with local doctors and nurses, ambulance drivers and burial teams. Ask what drove them and some talk about God; some about country; some about the instinct to run into the fire, not away.

Ebola is a war, and a warning. The global health system is nowhere close to strong enough to keep us safe from infectious disease, and ‘us’ means everyone, not just those in faraway places where this is one threat among many that claim lives every day. The rest of the world can sleep at night because a group of men and women are willing to stand and fight. For tireless acts of courage and mercy, for buying the world time to boost its defenses, for risking, for persisting, for sacrificing and saving, the Ebola fighters are Time’s 2014 Person of the Year.”

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