The Ebola Fighters- TIME magazine Person of the Year 2014

time person of the year ebolaAs we approach the year end, we look back to recognise and honour the people who have made significant contributions in the past year. TIME magazine has honoured the people at the frontline fighting Ebola across West Africa and other parts of the world where the disease threatens to spread its tentacles.

This once again highlights how the disease suddenly overwhelmed the fledgling Healthcare apparatus in the third world and the humanitarian response, both local and worldwide rose to the occasion. The doctors, nurses and support staff who responded have done so at considerable personal risk as noted by the morbidity encountered.

The earliest movers at the call of distress included Medecins Sans Frontierestime person of the year 2014 ebola and Samaritan’s Purse whose response helped streamline and augment the local efforts. Nurses and doctors in different countries who dealt with international travellers from West Africa also deserve special mention. Do read TIME magazine’s dedication coverage

From India, which has already been grappling with other Public Health disasters recently, a group of Medical Missionaries formed a team to Western Africa. From the order of St Camillus (an order which works exclusively with the marginalised in Healthcare), this group includes a nurse and healthcare workers.

No less important is the effort of the scientists working towards isolating the nature of the organism and possible vaccination and therapy.

Closer to home, let us also celebrate the numerous doctors, nurses and health workers who rushed to northern India in the wake of the floods. Many of these have repeatedly put their hands up to bring care in distant disaster torn parts of our country and beyond.

Recognition of this nature, while encouraging the health workers, is also a wakeup call for all of us- a call to contribute beyond our professional mandate. After all, who can empathise more with the struggling humanity as much as us, the ones who deal with them at their most vulnerable.