My plea to Maxime Coles
Maxime Coles, MD FICS
President of Central Executive Committee of AMHE
Following our conversation, I writing this letter to suggest that we support the humanitarian gesture of the American Doctor Craig Spencer who went to Guinea and work with Medecins Sans Frontieres in that epic battle against the EBOLA Virus Disease.
Now the Doc is hospitalized at Bellevue Hospital in New York fighting for his life. In our book he is a real Hero. He called the MSF and the New York health department as soon as his temperature rose to 100.3. He was picked up by EMS with full PPE as the CDC guidelines. He is being treated with fluid resuscitation, anti-viral agents, and serum from recovery Ebola patient. And we wish him well.
The man is among the folks who volunteer in the third world countries like ours to help save Lives. And I am sure the hero of the Nobel Prize of Literature’ Albert Camus in his book ” La Peste” is here in front of US.
During the HIV ordeal we received a lot of help to combat that devastating disease. And our Association the AMHE has been at the forefront trying to remove Haitian name from the 4H grouping, created by mass anxiety and fear mongering. Actually, in a meeting in Boston this year at the Massachusetts Medical Society Dr. Louis Sullivan past US Secretary of Health was reminding me about that difficult time
During the Earthquake in 2010, I deeply felt one night at the Delmas 75 School the humanitarian spirit of people from different nations coming to Haiti to save lives. They were sleeping on the floor, in tents in the yard Unforgettable and memorable moment of human solidarity
Dear Maxime, you were among the first group in January 2010. I know this side of you as an unselfish humanitarian.
You can seize the opportunity to send an official note of support and save a humanitarian award for Dr. Craig Spencer. He deserves it not from anyone else but us: the Association of Haitian Physicians Abroad, the AMHE. What is important is not Craig Spencer himself, but the concept that he embodies, the devotion to a noble cause, the altruistic value of what he did.
Ebola is not airborne, and the anxiety has to be met with education and assurance. And this is our job as a community organization to educate.
When three states in the Nation order mandatory quarantine for people returning from the battle field of West Africa, we need to stand up and say, it is wrong. This is the only power we have left, our intellect.
If the quarantine is not rescinded, the West Africa nations with more than 10,000 infected individuals and 5000 deaths will lose the support of the voluntary nurses and physicians ready to go as we speak. They
will lose too much time from their work and they will stay home.
People will have to understand the flare up of those diseases, are due to poor economical conditions and health system in certain countries. The Cholera in London Neighborhood of Soho killed so many British citizens in 1854. Cholera in Haiti (2011) did the same. If Cholera is waterborne, Ebola is transmitted by contact with infected individuals, via sweat, blood, semen or other body fluids. Ebola is not airborne.
Therefore mandatory quarantine is not based on medical evidence. The news reaches the general public with the speed of light and the health policy makers are scrambling to keep up.
AMHE a medical organization that regroups 10% of Black Doctors in the US has to step up and educate.
Eric L. Jerome, MD FACP, FASN
President of AMHE Foundation