According to press reports, the death toll from this month’s 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Haiti is now numbered at 2,207, with 344 people still missing.
Including among the dead is Dr. Ousmane Touré, a World Health Organization (WHO) staff member.
WHO’s Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in paying tribute to Dr. Touré, said he was “a brilliant epidemiologist from Guinea, who on deployment to Haiti tragically died in the earthquake that hit the country.
He added that “Dr. Touré was a hardworking, dedicated, and much loved team member that worked around the clock to help communities beat Ebola in both West Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”
He further said, “At just 39, with a wife and two beautiful daughters, aged just four and one, his death is a heartbreaking reminder of the danger many WHO staff put themselves in working on the frontlines of health and humanitarian responses.”
“I want to send my condolences to his family and friends and also Guinea at this impossibly difficult time,” he added.
Dr. Touré was a graduate of Gamal Abdel Nasser University in Conakry (UGANC).
He started working with WHO in Guinea, where he supported the polio eradication program from 2009 to 2013.
He also participated in the WHO response program to eradicate Ebola, in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.
He was later deployed to Haiti as field coordinator for the cholera response at the service of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and WHO from 2017 to 2018.
He subsequently returned to Africa to work as a field epidemiologist in the WHO Ebola response team in DRC, and later return to Haiti in July 2020 to work for PAHO as an international consultant in health emergencies as part of the Covid-19 response.
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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