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Dr. Jean-Jacques Muyembe

The Lancet recognized Dr. Muyembe as Africa’s veteran Ebola hunter but he was credited for discovering the deadly disease several years after. Read or listen to the NPR article: This Congolese Doctor Discovered Ebola But Never Got Credit For It — Until Now "He persuaded one of the nuns who had the disease to fly with him to Kinshasa. He took blood samples before she died and sent them to Belgium, where they had an electron microscope to try to identify the culprit. Scientists there and in the United States saw this was a new virus that caused hemorrhagic fever. They named it Ebola, after a river near the village.” Not only did Dr. Muyembe first discover Ebola but his initial experiment in injecting Ebola patients with the blood of survivors laid the foundation of the first effective treatment against the disease. Since his receiving his Ph.D. at the Rega Institute in Belgium he has served on the University of Kinshasa Faculty of Medicine for more than 40 years and has trained more than 1,000 researchers there. His greatest legacy may be the potential of promising young Congolese scientists taught and mentored by Dr. Muyembe. He heads the prestigious National Institute for Biomedical Research in Kinshasa and leads public health emergency responses in DR Congo including for Covid-19. Related Pages


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