Liberia after the war

25 more in collection LIBERIA AFTER THE WAR - Beirut Editor's Picks, 27 January, 2011

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” Monrovia-Liberia-West Africa, January 27, 2011 After two wars over two decades in Liberia, the country is still trying to find a new pathway towards the wellbeing of its people. A small 141 bed hospital, known in West Africa for its pediatric surgery department and as “THE HEROES WITHOUT BORDERS HOSPITAL”, has become the main reference platform for the people suffering in Liberia including foreign refugees from Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone; the St. Joseph Catholic Hospital in Monrovia, established in 1963 by the Hospitaller Order of the Brothers of St. John of God. In synchronicity, and for almost a decade ”POR AFRICA”, a small Spanish NGO fully dedicated to the children’s’ welfare, is working in collaboration trying to provide the finest in healthcare. The very small team of Spanish doctors is known by the affectionate moniker of “HEROES WITHOUT BORDERS”. In the picture, a spanish doctor, a little baby, seriously affected by the Dracunculus Medinensis, also known as Guinea worm disease,that is caused by the large female nematode, Dracunculus Medinensis, which is among the longest nematodes infecting humans. The adult female is primarily larger than the adult male. Mature female worms migrate along subcutaneous tissues to reach the skin below the knee, forming a painful ulcerating blister. They can also emerge from other parts of the body, such as the head, torso, upper extremities, buttocks, and genitalia. A person gets infected, by drinking water from stagnant sources (e.g., ponds) contaminated with copepods containing immature forms of the parasite (juveniles), which have been previously released from the skin of a definitive host. The infection can also be acquired by eating a fish paratenic host, but this is rare. The parasite is known to be found mostly in some west-african countries .

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