Rock star turned Orthodox priest shaken by Ebola crisis

Themi Adams Makes World Appeal as his West African Nation, Sierra Leone, Is Declared a ‘Public Health Emergency’

By Dan Wooding and John Tsambazis
Special to ASSIST News Service

FREETOWN, SIERRA LEONE (ANS) — The deadly Ebola virus has made its presence felt near the Holy Orthodox Mission in Freetown, Sierra Leone, which is run by former rock star, and now Greek Orthodox priest, Fr. Themi Adams.

Themi was once a member of Australian rock group, The Flies, and once shared the stage with the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, but after a dramatic conversion, became a missionary to West Africa, and is now facing the greatest challenge of his life – Ebola — which is sweeping his adopted country and causing panic, death and destruction.

Sierra Leone, President Ernest Bai Koroma, has declared a public health emergency in the West African country, and a recent BBC report stated, “He vowed to quarantine sick patients at home and have authorities conduct house-to-house searches for others who may have been exposed as the country struggles with families resisting treatment at isolation centers. Some have kept loved ones at home given the high death rates at clinics where Ebola patients are quarantined,” said the BBC story.

“His announcement late Wednesday came as neighboring Liberia also increased efforts to slow the virulent disease’s spread, shutting down schools and ordering most public servants to stay home from work.”

Dr. Heinz Feldmann, Chief of Virology at the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said, “It could be helpful for the government to have powers to isolate and quarantine people and it’s certainly better than what’s been done so far,” said. “Whether it works, we will have to wait and see.”

Ebola now has been blamed for 729 deaths in four West African countries this year, and has shown no signs of slowing down, particularly in Liberia and Sierra Leone. It has also reached Nigeria’s biggest city Lagos, where authorities said on Friday a man had died of the virus”.

Read the full story and see pictures here.

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