Dr. Bernice Dahn, a Woman of Character

first_imgShe is married with children.  Her husband is Counselor Roland Dahn, a prominent Liberian lawyer.  She herself is an experienced medical doctor who since 2006 has served as Liberia’s Chief Medical Officer, second in command at the  Ministry of Health to Dr. Walter Gwenigale, who has since 2006 been President Sirleaf’s Health Minister.A lot of financial resources have come through the Health Ministry since 2006, but most especially since the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease (EVD).  Nobody has yet pointed a finger at the Chief Medical Officer or her boss over their management of these finances.  Some civil society organizations have called for an audit of all the funds that have come into  fight Ebola, including the initial US$5 million supplied by the  government through the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL).  But huge chunks of the money flowing from abroad have  been channeled not through the Health Ministry but through the various NGOs and  World Health Organization (WHO), which in any case arrived on the scene far too late, though they were alerted since March that the virus was spreading rapidly through the Mano River basin, especially Liberia, the hardest hit country.The main reason we describe Dr. Bernice Dahn as a woman of sterling character is that the minute she found out that her own Special Assistant, Rev.  Napoleon Braithwaite, had been sick, she made two outstanding moves.  First, she went to visit him at his Barnesville Estate dwelling. We deemed this an extraordinary move, for it was during the peak of the Ebola attack on Liberia and most people were avoiding anyone who even had a light cold, a fever, or looked sick, for fear of coming into contact with an Ebola-infected person.Yet here was Dr. Dahn taking a serious risk—though she may not have thought it was—going to see her Special Assistant, which she did on September 20, 2015.  This was an incredible example of compassion.  The point is that at this most dangerous time in the health history of our country, her Special Assistant was sick, and she felt it her bounden duty, both as a boss and as a medical doctor, to go  see him.  She may not have  even thought it was risky.  Her primary concern was to check on him and see if there was  anything that he needed or any kind of help she could render him or his family.There are many intelligent people in the world, and even more in high positions of authority.  What we definitely cannot find too many of are people with compassion (kindness, empathy, concern, care).  That Dr. Bernice Dahn vividly and courageously demonstrated when visited  her ailing Special Assistant.And then, guess what!  In barely five days, Rev. Braithwaite was dead of—you guessed it—Ebola!!  He had indeed been infected by the virus, which unceremoniously and in a most untimely way snatched the life of this 55 year-old father of eight.And what was the immediate reaction of this highly efficient and principled woman?  Without being asked or ordered by anyone, she immediately quarantined herself from her office and her own family.  She went home alright, but strictly kept her distance from her own husband, children, other family members or household people. The Daily Observer praised her editorially, as we did another top MOH official, Madam Yah Zolia, Deputy Minister for Planning and Development.  Minister Zolia, too, quarantined herself when she discovered that a driver who had brought her from Ganta to Monrovia, an over 150-mile, several hour drive, had died the following day!We said in that editorial that if only others had behaved in the same exemplary way that these two outstanding women did, the virus would not have spread so rapidly and so devastatingly through Liberia.  The problem was that too many people were in denial, and many more were in deceit—knowing they were sick but denying it and, in the process, infecting others.  This caused the rate of casualties to escalate and soon, Liberia became the epicenter of the deadly virus.We thought it was necessary to let the public know a little more of this outstanding person, Dr. Bernice Dahn, a woman of efficiency, honesty and compassion.  Liberian girls and boys, here is a good example to emulate. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Adoptions of Katrina dogs postponed until year’s end

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week ASPCA officials said shelters nationwide agreed to care for the pets until Saturday. However, after more than 1,000 of them were reunited, they decided to ask for more time. “A lot of animals are being reunited and they seemed to have underestimated the amount of time needed to get as many of them as possible back to their owners,’ Sanchez said. Although many local residents had hoped to take one of the 10 dogs housed at the Baldwin Park Animal Shelter home, they will now have to wait to see if their owners come forward. “We’ll continue to treat them and if they are not reunited by December we’ll adopt them out into a new home,’ said county spokeswoman Kaye Michaelson. “But for now, they’ll stay with us and will be waiting for their owners.’ Of the 8,000 dogs, cats, horses, and other animals that were rescued in Louisiana and Mississippi, 124 have been housed in shelters throughout California. A handful already have been reunited with their owners. BALDWIN PARK — There has been a slight “paws’ in the quest for local people wanting to acquire one of the 10 Hurricane Katrina canines up for adoption at the Baldwin Park Animal Shelter. The adoptions scheduled to take place Saturday have been put on hold until the end of the year. On Thursday, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, along with other pet organizations, requested all animal shelters, breed rescue groups and others sheltering animal survivors of the hurricane, extend the holding period of the pets until Dec. 31. “They asked us to hold off on our adoptions that were going to take place Saturday at the Baldwin Park Animal Shelter,’ said Brenda Jimenez, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Care and Control. “They want us to give people more time to claim their animals.’ “Sassy was the first, and on Wednesday there was Princess who was in Pomona,’ said Dawn Cotterell, spokeswoman for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles. “Right now we are working on Snowball and Simba, who we think will be reunited in a few days.’ Along with those four dogs, the Baldwin Park Animal Shelter also is scheduling a reunion to take place soon. “The owner of Panda, a Jack Russell Terrier mix who was actually a show dog, came forward and a reunion will happen in days,’ Sanchez said. “His owner was on vacation when Katrina hit her Mississippi home and she was not allowed to go back for him.’ Panda’s owner saw his picture on www.petfinder.com and contacted the spcaLA. In order to prove that Panda was hers, county officials said the owner sent in photos that confirmed her claim. Panda will be flying to Memphis, where his owner has relocated to since Hurricane Katrina, in a few days. “She’s been e-mailing and calling and she is so happy to have Panda back. She can’t wait,’ Jimenez said. “That’s the goal, to get these pets back home.’ Nisha Gutierrez can be reached at (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2109, or by e-mail at nisha.gutierrez@sgvn.com. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more