Sheik Umar Khan (6 March 1975 – 29 July 2014) was the chief Sierra Leonean doctor attempting to curb the country's Ebola outbreak in 2014.[3]

Sheikh Humarr Khan
Born(1975-03-06)6 March 1975
Died29 July 2014(2014-07-29) (aged 39)
EducationTrained at Korle Bu[1]
Known forEbola isolation ward
Medical career
ProfessionChief Medical Officer
ResearchLassa fever,[2] Ebola

The virologist is credited with treating over a hundred patients before succumbing to the virus himself. He was recognized as a "national hero" by Sierra Leone's Health Ministry.[4] Khan had long worked with Lassa fever, a disease that kills over 5,000 a year in Africa. He had expanded his clinic to accept Ebola patients. Sierra Leone's president, Ernest Bai Koroma, celebrated Khan as a "national hero".[5] He had a habit of hugging the cured Ebola patients that were leaving his ward, to lift their spirits.[6]

Khan made contact with the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in 2010 when he came to Ghana to do his Residency. He was offered admission into the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons to undertake a 3-year residency training programme in internal medicine. As part of the training, he was posted to the Department of Medicine of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.[citation needed]


Khan was very meticulous in donning personal protective equipment as he treated patients.[7] Believing the virus unable to be transmitted in an airborne fashion, he worked fearlessly with Ebola virus patients.[8] Despite observing recommended protocols, Khan was infected by the virus and died on 29 July 2014 in a facility run by Medecins Sans Frontieres.[9] He was not offered a dose of the experimental drug ZMapp though one was available.[10] Sierra Leonean president Ernest Bai Koroma had been due to visit his treatment center the following week.[11]

Awards and honorsEdit


  1. ^ Tsatro Mordy
  2. ^ "Profile: Leading Ebola doctor Sheik Humarr Khan". BBC. 30 July 2014. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  3. ^ "Sierra Leone's chief Ebola doctor contracts the virus". Reuters. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  4. ^ Gander, Kashmira. "Ebola virus: Top Sierra Leone doctor, Sheik Umar Khan, dies of disease aged 39". Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  5. ^ "Sierra Leone 'hero' doctor's death exposes slow Ebola response". Sierra Leone 'hero' doctor's death exposes slow Ebola response. Fox News. 25 August 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  6. ^ "Interview: Sierra Leone's Ebola doctor feared for his life". Indeed yes, they no longer have Ebola and in fact as a matter of fact these are people I embrace myself on the day of discharge because don’t forget the stigma about Ebola with some people you have to give them certificates so that by the time they return to their villages people will understand that they are no more suffering from the disease and they are free to interact with the population.
  7. ^ "Interview: Sierra Leone's Ebola doctor feared for his life". I make sure whenever I am going into the isolation unit I am in my full protective clothing, and I make sure my nurses are all in theirs" he said to me. "I even have a mirror in my office
  8. ^ "Interview: Sierra Leone's Ebola doctor feared for his life". I am not afraid of working. It is all about contact, it is all about bodily fluids.
  9. ^ "Meeting Dr Khan, Sierra Leone Ebola arrowhead". But someone should tell him that the nation is praying for him. He deserves the prayer of all of us and for more reasons than one.
  10. ^ Kelly Crowe (18 August 2014). "Top Ebola doctor in Sierra Leone dies from virus". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  11. ^ Reuters (29 July 2014). "Top Ebola doctor in Sierra Leone dies from virus". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
  12. ^ Gibney, E.; Leford, H.; Lok, C.; Hayden, E.C.; Cowen, R.; Klarreich, E.; Reardon, S.; Padma, T.V.; Cyranoski, D.; Callaway, E. (18 December 2014). "Nature's 10 Ten people who mattered this year". Nature. 516: 311–319. doi:10.1038/516311a. PMID 25519114.
  13. ^ "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 6781 Sheikumarkahn (1990 OD)" (2019-05-11 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  14. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 27 September 2019.