Back from West Africa, FIU doctor calls for resources and training to fight Ebola

FIU professor Dr. Aileen Marty has returned to Miami after 31days in Nigeria, serving with the World Health Organization’s Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network. The Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine’s infectious diseases specialist called for sustained international attention on the Ebola outbreak and urged U.S. and European authorities to step up screening of travelers from countries where Ebola is present.

During her time in Nigeria, Dr. Marty was instrumental in setting up entry point controls in an effort to contain the epidemic and prevent new infections. She also treated patients and met with government and private industry representatives in an effort to organize the resources necessary to eradicate Ebola. No new cases of Ebola have been reported in Nigeria in the last few days.

“Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and it is a very good sign that the epidemic seems to be under control there,” Dr. Marty said. “The key to success is education and training of the population because when Ebola is treated early, the chances of survival are much better.”

Dr.  Marty is no stranger to Ebola or West Africa. In over 30 years of practicing medicine, 25 of them as a U.S. Navy doctor, she has traveled the world, visiting 50 countries and treating diseases like leprosy, dengue, malaria and Ebola.

Dr. Marty said she would return to Africa, if her expertise were needed, and intends to be involved in the training of doctors and others who will be traveling there to assist.

Marty served in the medical corps, in the U.S. Navy, specializing in tropical medicine, infectious disease pathology, disaster medicine, and in the science, medical response and policy involving weapons of mass destruction. She attended the Navy War College, where she trained in strategic studies, diplomacy, joint military operations and the art of war. The Navy’s Bureau of Medicine and Surgery recognized her as an expert on chemical, biological, radiation and high-energy weapons and called on her to help develop plans, training and policy for government agencies including the White House and the National Security Administration.

Click here for video of her debrief on Monday and other footage and photos of Dr. Marty working in Africa.

Click here to watch Dr. Marty’s TEDxFIU lecture.