Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Oddities at Kenema Hospital in Sierra Leone

American panic over ebola has subsided a tiny bit. The government has responded with plans to get the military involved for rapid responses to new cases, limited airports that will take passengers from infected nations, an ebola czar and beefed up screening process. It all seems half assed. America still only has 117 hospital bed units that can handle level four contagious diseases. Even a spread to 150 people would be a major problem for our medical system. Things do not appear to be going well in west Africa either as case numbers still rise and officials claim more are dying, but the dead are just hidden now. Conspiracy theories are running wild now because of massive distrust in the USG, the locals involved and the connections between USG-ebola-ground zero. The Kenema hospital in Sierra Leone is a focus for west African anger and has odd connections to the USG.

This is not a conspiracy theory. This is just to lay out some odd stories and facts about the Kenema hospital, which is right near ground zero along the Guinea-Sierra Leone border. The Kenema hospital also has a research facility attached to it. The Kenema hospital was a partner in the Viral Hemorrhagic Consortium, based in the US, because of its specialty in handling Lassa Fever. They have expanded their research to include ebola. The research is done is a special, unattached building with specific protective protocols to prevent contamination between the hospital and the research facility. Kenema expanded research to include other hemorrhagic diseases, including ebola, and just in January had received a deal worth $140 million with the Department of Defense and the pharmaceutical company Tekmira to conduct trials (Phase 1 style) for an ebola vaccine. Do vaccines sometimes get tested on people in devious manners? Yes. Do third world countries have worse health infrastructure? Yes. Has this new ebola virus even overcome first world hospital protocols? Yes.

The Viral Hemorrhagic Consortium is a new creation. It was started in 2010 after Tulane University received a five year $15 million contract from the NIH. The focus was on Lassa Fever due to its possibility as a biological weapon. From day one, Kenema hospital has been a part of the consortium due to its proximity to so many infectious hemorrhagic diseases. What is interesting is how the money the Kenema hospital received for various contracts did not improve their containment capabilities. Besides proximity to disease sources, why put such a risky research facility in an area where people have an odd understanding of modern medicine sometimes still using traditional mystical ways? Whether improperly blamed or not, the hospital was a source of frustration for locals as the ebola outbreak happened. This is the Sierra Leone hospital that required military protection as the locals blamed it for the virus spreading and rioted. Supposedly, a mentally deranged nurse spread a rumor that the facility was infecting people with ebola. The facility is now abandoned. The odd coincidence is that new cases of ebola in Kenema have dropped to almost none. This is after cases exploded in the summer time.

This is not to blame the outbreak on a medical research facility. That is straight out of Resident Evil. There is enough confusion and misinformation out there about what is going on or went on in west Africa. A main point is that this ebola virus is different, is mutating different, and is spreading differently. There could be absolutely nothing to the Kenema research facility and ebola or there could be a connection. Transparency would be appreciated. There is probably nothing to this. The overreaction by locals is most likely just a scapegoat moment for a disease that is horrible and has no cure. The problem is that we will never get an official explanation or revelation and this little research facility with shoddy looking buildings will become part of a west African myth about the outbreak of ebola in 2014.


eah said...

It all seems half assed.

That's because it is -- here appearances are not deceiving.

Re the rest of the angle here, other web sites have also been 'noticing things' -- for example, at this link.

Simple question: why do you moderate comments? It doesn't seem like you get that many/have much to worry about.

Son of Brock Landers said...

Good, questioning the story is getting around. That link says mad scientists? Jesus. Probably an accident by the researchers. I saw Kenenma on a conspiracy site. Actively unleashing ebola is too out there for me. Others tied in the Pentagon's zombie exercise and fema camps. Thats going a bit far. I assume its stupidity first, then malice.

I moderate comments because a post I had a while back brought out nasty stuff back and forth between people and I already blog thought crimes so I keep it tight. I blog about porn sometimes. When you blog about porn, the bots come out in full force. I delete 3-5 bot comments a day.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. Was the facility run by Africans? I wouldn't be surprised if it leaked out.

building something like this in Africa is insane. The useless bureaucrats who decided to put it there will lose no sleep (except over the risk to their cushy jobs)

Either way, I don't buy the hype. It's a slow news cycle, and there is no danger from ebola

The real story is that we won't be able to handle the next Black Plague-level disease if/when one does take off.

Toddy Cat said...

Of course, USG didn't release Ebola intentionally - releasing any disease in Africa is coals to Newcastle, Africans don't need outsiders to get an epidemic started, that's one thing that they are really good at. But you can hardly blame anyone, American, African, or otherwise, for not trusting USG at this point. One of the problems with being a known pathological liar is that nobody believes you when you're telling the truth.

peterike said...

I encourage readers to click on the "Kenema" link to see just what a "hospital" looks like in Sierra Leone. Sort of like a fishing shack in Alabama.

Setting up high-risk research like this in places like Sierra Leone is criminally negligent. First, as night follows day you will have massive corruption involved. There will be short cuts taken, sloppy work, people paid off. That "air tight" doohickey won't actually be air tight because the people putting it in -- likely locals, as is so often required in these deals -- will be incompetent. Then you have staff concerns. Ok, maybe some of the doctors are competent, or even Westerners working there, but did the cleaning guy remember to lock the whatever as he is explicitly told to do? Mmmmm, maybe, maybe not. It's just a door, right? Why should it matter? Oh wait, you seriously think you're going to impress the importance of security protocols on a 75 IQ native? Nuh huh.

It's madness all around. But hey, a $140 million grant? That's nice money. Goes a long way in places like Sierra Leone. Might even get to enjoy the company of some local ladies while over there.

I'm completely speculating, of course, but I'm also 100% certain that this is precisely the case at that place and there is NO WAY you would be able to maintain security protocols unless every single staff member right down to the toilet cleaners was a Westerner.