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

Police warn of rental scams after Saanich resident nearly falls victim to one

Always see the home, meet the landlord in person before sending money, police say

Construction at Clover Point pump station causes wastewater spill

Residents advised to stay out of water near Clover Point

Grieving together, but apart: How funeral homes are handling the pandemic

‘Hugs are so important and right now hugs can’t happen’

Sidney Lions, Peninsula-raised designer craft nearly 200 masks for area seniors

182 masks were distributed to four Saanich Peninsula care homes

What Sooke School District schools will look like on first day of reopening

No water fountains, rotating schedules and face masks not required

Vancouver Island bride held wedding in seniors home so dying stepdad could walk her down aisle

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

$200,000 Maybach impounded after ‘L’ driver caught excessively speeding in Vancouver

Meanwhile, the supervisor sat in the passenger seat, police said

Yukon ready to lift COVID travel restrictions with B.C. in July: premier

Premier Sandy Silver says the territory’s health-care system can cope with the virus.

‘It is dire:’ Study finds B.C. logging continues on critical caribou habitat

The federal Species At Risk Act requires provinces to identify critical habitat for caribou herds

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Most Read