Ebola Carer Salomé Karwah Dies In Pregnancy

We receive the sad news — confirmed now by Time Magazine — of the passing of Salomé Karwah, who survived a bout with Ebola (and the loss of her parents to the disease) to become a key provider of care during the 2014-15 epidemic in Monrovia, Liberia. She succumbed to complications from pregnancy.

For 2014 accounts of her experience with the disease and work as a caregiver during the epidemic, please see The GuardianDoctors Without Borders, NPR, The Wall Street Journaland Time.

Karwah delivered a healthy boy by cesarian section on Feb 17, was discharged home three days later, and within hours lapsed into convulsions. She was rushed to the hospital by her husband and her sister, who found that none of the hospital staff would come near. According to reports, on seeing her violent seizures and foaming at the mouth, the staff cited her status as an Ebola survivor and gave her distance in lieu of fluids or treatment. Karwah died the following day — with hospital response to the stigma of Ebola precluding an opportunity to survive likely complications from her pregnancy.

Karwah's passing further highlights growing concern over racial and regional disparities in global maternal mortality rates, with women in sub-Saharan Africa and women of African descent living elsewhere dying at remarkably higher frequencies. For details, see data from published studies and reports at The Lancet (series one)(series two), WHO, and CDC, as well as contextualizing articles at The Guardian, The Development Set, and Our Bodies Ourselves.