Ebola fighters win TIME's Person of the Year award

15 Dec 2014 - 09:45

"They risked and persisted, sacrificed and saved," writes TIME magazine editor Nancy Gibbs of this year's Person of the Year awardees.

Word of mouth: UCT's Dr Kathryn Stinson carries out contact tracing and provides health promotion to villagers outside Kailahun, Sierra Leone, during the recent outbreak of the Ebolavirus.

Not one face, but many: nurses, doctors, epidemiologist, pharmacists, and others.

Many were needed to halt the spread of Ebolavirus in West Africa. And among the many was UCT's Dr Kathryn Stinson, who volunteered as an epidemiologist with Medicins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Stinson has a PhD in public health and works at the Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Research in the School of Public Health and Family Medicine.

Her Field Blog from Sierra Leone provided a graphic reflection plight of thousands as the virus spread from Guinea to Liberia and then Sierra Leone, cutting down the poorest and most vulnerable and precipitating emergency health measures around the world.

MSF has been working to halt the spread of Ebolavirus in West Africa since March this year. Stinson left her family in South Africa to join the ranks of healthcare workers.

In one of her earlier blogs she wrote: "Now in October, I will be going as an epidemiologist to assist. I'll be a tiny cog in a wheel grinding away at an epidemic that has grown out of control, and I'll be spewing out statistics and charting an epidemic curve."

We too salute Stinson and her fellow healthcare workers.

Story by Helen Swingler.