Barbara and I set off early for Luebo North. A team from the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) are running an Ebola testing service at the hospital there. They are checking out rumours in the local area and identifying possible suspect patients. One of the nurses in the hospital has been unwell and just tested positive for Ebola. While we were doing the training session it was obvious that the other nurses were scared.
Back in Kampungu, I had to bury another patient. She had been with us for quite a long time but she died early this morning. The team at the centre put the body bag in the coffin and then on the pickup. We tied it securely because the road to the village is very rough. Some policemen ran after the car asking for a lift. I have never seen anyone change their mind so completely when told what was under the plastic sheet.
When we got to the village everyone came running out of the houses wailing and following the car. There was an enormous amount of noise. We went along slowly so that everyone could follow us, even though there were some men telling people not to come close.
After the funeral I went back to the isolation unit to find that the female patient we had been looking after in her home had had a miscarriage. Her brother had brought her into the unit to be taken care of.
I went with a disinfection team to spray the house where she had been living and take down the latrine and fencing. There was a lot of blood under the bed on the earth floor. The team poured a very strong chlorine solution over it and it turned black. I shovelled it up and put it on the fire, and then put the shovel in the fire to clean it.
There was a rather surprising end to the day. One of the more recent employees’ wife had a baby this afternoon and they called her Zoë! So now there are three Zoë’s in Kampungu.