Chilcotin-area family nurse practitioner Patrice Gordon is off to Africa Friday to assist with the Ebola crisis. Here she is in December 2014 when she worked at the Ebola Treatment Centre in Kenema, Sierra Leone. Photo submitted

B.C. nurse practitioner heading to Africa to help combat Ebola crisis

Family nurse practitioner Patrice Gordon is returning to Africa after four years to once again assist amid Ebola crisis

A family nurse practitioner is once again leaving her home in the B.C. Interior to volunteer in Africa and help those suffering from the Ebola crisis.

Patrice Gordon, who lives and works in the Chilcotin west of Williams Lake, is going to Nairobi, Kenya where she will be the regional health advisor for Ebola Preparedness and Response for DR Congo (DRC), Uganda, Burundi, South Sudan, Rwanda and the Central African Republic.

Gordon made headlines four years ago when she returned from Sierra Leone after working in an Ebola response clinic and was quarantined to make sure she hadn’t contracted the disease.

This time around she won’t be working directly with patients.

“My role will be to work with WHO, Ministries of Health, Red Cross and other organizations to support the existing Ebola response in DRC and to assist in formulating a consistent, evidence-based preparedness plan for the other countries, which haven’t yet had Ebola cross their borders,” Gordon said in a phone interview from Ottawa Friday.

“The affected areas are transportation hubs, so the risk of spread is high, and with ongoing conflict and unrest in these areas, management is challenging.”

Gordon said while she is “excited” and “intimidated” by the scope of the mission she is also very hopeful knowing she is joining “so many skilled, committed and compassionate people already on the ground.”

It is crucial to ensure that accurate and consistent information is provided to the communities along the border, as well as ensuring as much as possible that they have adequate supplies and human resources to react appropriately and calmly if a case of Ebola is encountered, she added.

Read more: Chilcotin nurse tackling Ebola

“I will hopefully be assisting a talented and effective regional team to provide guidance that will help on a broader level than patient by patient,” she said. “I will for sure miss the direct clinical exposure but am honoured to have been asked to respond in this capacity.”

In 2107 Gordon went to Bangladesh to work with the refugee crisis, in 2015 she went to Nepal after the earthquake.

When she isn’t working across the world with Red Cross she works in the First Nations communities in the Chilcotin.

Gordon said she plans to be gone for a month and will be missing her birthday and Christmas at home in Canada.

“I’m hoping to be home in the New Year,” she said. “Four years ago, I was away the same time, then spent New Year’s Eve 2015 in Kelowna General Hospital waiting for my Ebola test results after getting sick during my three-week monitoring phase. This time I won’t have that requirement as I won’t be having clinical contact.”

Read more: Chilcotin nurse practitioner named health care hero



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Oak Bay to permit recreation vehicles in driveways during COVID-19

Council likely to lift restriction on campers as place to self-isolate

Nanaimo, Royal Jubilee to be Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 frontline hospitals

Other Island hospitals will be admitting COVID-19 patients and will be used in a support role

Paramedics called to Oak Bay golf course as man crashes bike into sand trap

Oak Bay police respond to social distance concerns

Family-owned pharmacy gives away free hand sanitizer in Victoria, Oak Bay

Fort Royal Pharmacy asks people to bring their own containers to fill with sanitizer

BC Transit extends free fare, installs vinyl barriers in some buses

Free fare will now be offered until April 30

75-year-old woman rescued from Cowichan Lake

Victim taken to hospital, but expected to recover

As 300K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

B.C. begins taking submissions for $2M COVID-19 research fund

Rural health, impact of shifting hospital resources among priorities

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

Most Read