Dr. Rick Sacra is definitely returning to Liberia this week to Liberia, the West African nation where he used to work.
He won’t go back to his previous posting at ELWA hospital, but this time he said he might work to help to screen patients to determine the presence of Ebola infection aside from treating those who suffer from other health conditions. He told reporters last Monday. Sacra is 52, years old.
Ebola survivors who developed immunity from the infection are helping a lot in West Africa taking care of the sick, looking after orphans, and teaching public health education to the residents. Dr. Sacra will be back working at ELWA hospital for a month to give chance to others to take that much needed rest.
“They’ve been working very hard for months and frankly they need a little bit of a breather,” he said at an upbeat news conference at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, where he serves on the faculty.
Debbie, his wife, fully supports her husband’s decision to return to West Africa this Thursday.
“We know that there is a need. We know that he has a big contribution to make. So we’re happy that he’s only going for a few weeks,” she said.
In Liberia alone, according to the World Health Organization, at least 370 medical workers assisting in Ebola cases have been infected and 178 have died already.
He was in isolation treatment unit in Nebraska Medical Center for 3 weeks before being discharged last September. According to him, after that, there have been a few “bumps in the road,” he told reporters.
Dr. Sacra was hospitalized for as short while last October. It was just an ordinary fever and he was negative of Ebola infection.
But he said Monday, “My doctor has now cleared me for a full return to work and has said I’m well enough to return to Liberia.”
“In fact the experts tell me I’m immune. I don’t plan to test that but I am grateful for it,” he said, smiling.