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

Vandals burned a hole in the platform at the top of the Somenos Marsh Open Air Classroom early on the morning of Thursday, April 22. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Arson closes Somenos Marsh viewing platform

Fletcher estimates the damage at more than $5,000.

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist, an independent pharmacy in Toronto, Monday, April 19, 2021. Younger Canadians in several provinces are now able to get the AstraZeneca vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
AstraZeneca vaccine appointments fill up fast on Vancouver Island

More pharmacies expected to be added as supply increases

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map shows new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 11-17. (BCCDC image)
BCCDC says fresh COVID-19 cases down in most Island Health areas

Nanaimo sees its fewest new COVID-19 cases since mid January

More sleeping cabins for the homeless in the Cowichan Valley could soon be put in place if a $2.5-million grant application to the UBCM Strengthening Communities’ Services funding program is successful. (File photo)
Funding sought to expand homeless initiatives in Cowichan Valley

$2.5-million grant would see more sleeping cabins and outreach projects

The old Stanley Gordon school in Lake Cowichan. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette file)
Editorial: Old school properties represent potential for our areas

There are opportunities, often sitting right in the middle of our small communities.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

The conservation service confirmed they do not relocate cougars from settled areas but that euthanasia is not necessarily the fate for an animal in the Fanny Bay area. The hope is that the animal will move on to wild areas. (File photo)
Woman hopes cat-stalking Fanny Bay cougar can avoid euthanization

Conservation officers do not relocate the animals from Vancouver Island

Tofino residents expressed frustration over a recent post by Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett that falsely claimed all residents have been vaccinated. (Westerly file photo)
Resort owner apologizes for suggesting Tofino is safe to travel to

Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett apologizes to community and visitors

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Police executed a search warrant at the Devils Army Clubhouse on Petersen road in Campbell River on August 10, 2017.
Murder trial: Victim left to conclude out-of-court settlement on the day he disappeared

Trial of Richard Alexander in death of John Dillon Brown continues in B.C. Supreme Court in Victoria

Most Read