TIME Person of the Year 2014: The Ebola Fighters
11 December 2014
The 'Ebola Fighters' have been named TIME Person of the Year 2014.
As the Ebola outbreak in West Africa continues to claim thousands of lives, TIME magazine have recognised the men and women responding to the crisis "for tireless acts of courage and mercy, for buying the world time to boost its defenses, for risking, for persisting, for sacrificing and saving."
Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Professor Peter Piot, who co-discovered Ebola in 1976 is one of those profiled by TIME. Prof Piot is leading the School's response to the current outbreak, and advising governments and international agencies including the World Health Organization.
Speaking to TIME about his work on the first Ebola outbreak, Prof Piot said: "It changed my life. It was a kind of dream come true because I always wanted to work in Africa dealing with epidemics. Our protective gear was a surgical mask, motorbike goggles, gloves and a paper surgical gown-that's all. We didn't have more than that."
Diploma in Tropical Nursing alumnus, Kaci Hickox, is also profiled. Kaci was deployed to Sierra Leone as a nurse for MSF this year. Upon her return to the US she was quarantined despite testing negative for Ebola.
Speaking to TIME, Kaci said: "I have witnessed the devastation Ebola causes and have personally experienced the stigma that fear of this disease brings. Still, I hope that compassion and knowledge will soon overcome the fear so that we can beat Ebola."