Monday, 24 November 2014

'Ebola Heroes' granted citizenship by Spain

Two African missionaries, who played a role in the recovery of nursing assistant Teresa Romero from the Ebola virus, were granted Spanish citizenship in Madrid on Friday.

Paciencia Melgar Ronda (47) from Equatorial Guinea (pictured on the right wearing green) and 36-year-old Helena S. Wolo from Sierra Leone were granted citizenship by Spain after traveling to Madrid to donate blood plasma for the treatment of Romero.

Ronda contracted the virus working as a nurse in Liberia and volunteered to be used as a test case, so doctors could observe the long-term evolution of her recovery from Ebola.  Wolo traveled to Spain from Liberia and donated plasma which was then used in the treatment of Romero. According to doctors involved in the case, the two nurses' assistance had been vital to Romero's eventual recovery from Ebola.

Romero was the first person known to contract Ebola outside of Africa, after treating two Spanish missionaries who were repatriated from Sierra Leone, suffering from the virus.  Both missionaries eventually died.  Romero recovered and left hospital on November 5th. 

Ongoing Ebola news:

On Thursday last week, a Spanish health worker from the Spanish NGO Médicos sin Fronteras was repatriated from Mali after suffering a "high risk" needle-stick injury treating a patient with Ebola in Bamako, capital of Mali.

The health worker was admitted to Madrid's Carlos III hospital where she has been quarantined, but so far is asymptomatic, according to doctors.

Spanish sources:

20 Minutos
The Local

Photo: Screengrab from YouTube video