Sheik Umar Khan
(1975-03-06)6 March 1975
29 July 2014(2014-07-29) (aged 39)
Trained at Korle Bu
Ebola isolation ward
Chief Medical Officer
Lassa fever, Ebola
Doctor Sheik Umar Khan (6 March 1975 – 29 July 2014) was the chief Sierra Leonean doctor attempting to curb the country’s Ebola outbreak in 2014.
The virologist is credited with treating over a hundred patients before succumbing to the virus himself. He was recognized as a “national hero” by Sierra Leone’s Health Ministry. Khan had long worked with Lassa fever, a disease that kills over 5,000 a year in Africa. He had expanded his clinic to accept Ebola patients. Sierra Leone’s president, Ernest Bai Koroma, celebrated Khan as a “national hero”. He had a habit of hugging the cured Ebola patients that were leaving his ward, to lift their spirits.
Khan made contact with the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in 2010 when he came to Ghana to do his Residency. He was offered admission into the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons to undertake a 3-year residency training programme in internal medicine. As part of the training, he was posted to the Department of Medicine of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
Khan was very meticulous in donning personal protective equipment as he treated patients. Believing the virus unable to be transmitted in an airborne fashion, he worked fearlessly with Ebola virus patients. Despite observing recommended protocols, Khan was infected by the virus and died on 29 July 2014 in a facility run by Medecins Sans Frontieres. He was not offered a dose of the experimental drug ZMapp though one was available. Sierra Leonean president Ernest Bai Koroma had been due to visit his treatment center the following week.
Awards and honors
On December 18, 2014, Khan was named one of Nature’s 10 “people who mattered” of 2014, along with Maryam Mirzakhani, Radhika Nagpal, and others.
^ Ghana:myjoyonline.com/Jerry Tsatro Mordy
^ “Profile: Leading Ebola doctor Sheik Humarr Khan”. bbc.com. BBC. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
^ “Sierra Leone’s chief Ebola doctor contracts the virus”. af.reuters.com. Reuters. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
^ Gander, Kashmira. “Ebola virus: Top Sierra Leone doctor, Sheik Umar Khan, dies of disease aged 39”. www.independent.co.uk. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
^ “Sierra Leone ‘hero’ doctor’s death exp