Local Robbinsville resident, Nottingham High School graduate, and Hamilton native, Dr. Ranu Singh Dhillon, has been working alongside Guinea president Alpha Condé for the past several months to address the biggest outbreak of the Ebola virus ever known.
Dr. Dhillon is a physician and faculty at the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School specializing in building and operationalizing health systems in poor countries and has experience in Rwanda, Liberia, Nigeria, India, Haiti, and now Guinea. Dr. Dhillon, who is also a Senior Health Advisor with the Earth Institute at Columbia University and Associate Faculty in Ariadne Labs (a health systems think tank with the Harvard School of Public Health), has over a decade of experience building and managing primary health systems in low- and middle-income countries and caring for patients in poor communities.
Ebola is one of the deadliest epidemics the world has seen and as long as cases are happening in Guinea and other parts of Africa, they will continue to spill over to countries like the United States, explained Dr. Dhillon. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that there were 13,700 officially registered cases and about 5,000 total deaths as of the end of October with almost all of them in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea.
Experts are now saying that a response to deal with it in Africa and helping the innocent people being infected there is the only way to ensure safety here at home. Dr. Dhillon’s work with the Guinea President’s office includes framing the overall national Ebola response strategy and its implementation. A new plan, developed with the help of Dr. Dhillon, to stop the spread of Ebola in Guinea will be formalized soon. The plan is already in motion on the ground and should be rapidly scaled up in coming weeks.