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

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

The City of Nanaimo will further investigate an initiative to set up two 12-cabin sites to create transitional emergency housing for people experiencing homelessness. (Black Press file photo)
City of Nanaimo will ask for expressions of interest to operate tiny cabin sites

Staff expresses concern about workload, councillor says sheltering people must take priority

Capt. Alan Millbank, head of Nanaimo Fire Rescue’s Fire and Loss Prevention Division, takes photos of the scene of a blaze that heavily damaged two apartments on Wakesiah Avenue on Sunday, April 18. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
RCMP, Nanaimo Fire Rescue investigating suspicious apartment blaze

Fire destroyed ground-floor apartment, spread to second storey at Wakesiah Avenue complex

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks at a press conference Monday, April 18. (B.C. Government image)
New COVID-19 cases tick down on the central Island

New cases held to single digits three days in a row

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations with RV hook-ups

Nanaimo RCMP hope the public can help them find a 16-year-old who has been missing since Sunday. (Photo submitted)
UPDATE: 16-year-old Nanaimo boy located safe

Teen had been reported missing last week and it was thought he may have left town

Capt. Alan Millbank, head of Nanaimo Fire Rescue’s Fire and Loss Prevention Division, takes photos of the scene of a blaze that heavily damaged two apartments on Wakesiah Avenue on Sunday, April 18. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
RCMP, Nanaimo Fire Rescue investigating suspicious apartment blaze

Fire destroyed ground-floor apartment, spread to second storey at Wakesiah Avenue complex

Paramedic Matthew Schlatter of Victoria is living a fuller life today due to the double lung transplant he received in 2019. He encourages B.C. residents to register as an organ donor and let their families know their wishes. (Instagram/Matthew Schlatter)
B.C. man living a full, active life after double-lung transplant

Matt Schlatter encourages people to register as an organ donor to help others live

Pat Kauwell, a semi-retired construction manager, lives in his fifth-wheel trailer on Maxey Road because that’s what he can afford on his pension, but a Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw prohibits using RVs as permanent dwellings, leaving Kauwell and others like him with few affordable housing options. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Housing crunch or not, it’s illegal to live in an RV in Nanaimo

Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land

Orca 1
Orcas: Our Shared Future finally surfaces at Royal B.C. Museum

Museum dives into the world of the killer whale as delayed feature exhibition now open

Polystyrene has been outlawed as a take-out option for restaurants in Tofino and Ucluelet. (Black Press Media file photo)
Styrofoam done as a takeout option on Island’s Pacific Rim

Tofino and Ucluelet ban polystyrene take-out containers

The City of Nanaimo’s finance and audit committee has recommended spending $200,000 from reserves on a feasibility study and conceptual designs for a community centre in the south end. (News Bulletin file photo)
City of Nanaimo will study options for south-end community centre

Finance committee recommends spending $200,000 from reserves for feasibility study and concept plans

(Photo by Mojpe/Pixabay)
Canadian kids extracting record amounts from Tooth Fairy

Our neighbours in the U.S. receive slightly less from Tooth Fairy visits

Nanaimo NightOwls. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo NightOwls cancel season due to COVID-19

Baseball team’s inaugural season in West Coast League will have to wait until 2022

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

Most Read