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Hot Topic: Action in Crisis, Stopping the Ebola Epidemic with Dr. Francis Kateh, Deputy Minister of Health in Liberia

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PostedOctober 11, 2018

Episode Summary

Mark Therriault interviews Dr. Francis Kateh, Deputy Minister of Health and Chief Medical Officer in Liberia. Dr. Kateh was appointed the National Deputy Incident Manager for Ebola response (in which he led the successful medical intervention of Liberia during the Ebola crisis that swept the country in 2014-2015). Through his actions, leadership and effective decision making, he was able to help save millions of lives during the epidemic and his strategic plan now serves as a UN model in outbreak response.

To this day, Dr. Kateh continues his amazing work in Liberia. In this episode, Mark and Dr. Kateh discuss decision making in times of crisis, the journey that led him to his position as Liberia’s National Deputy Incident Manager, his major accomplishments in helping stop the Ebola epidemic, his biggest challenges during the crisis, and what his plans and hopes are for the future of Liberia. Marjorie Ratel, President of the Korle Bu Neuroscience Foundation also joins in the conversation to discuss what is being done, and still needs to be done for healthcare in Liberia today.

Tune in to this fascinating episode to hear more on effective leadership with a people first approach, how the Ebola epidemic was stopped, and the continuing measures that are taken everyday to ensure effective healthcare and prevent future outbreaks in Liberia.

Key Takeaways

About today’s guest and topic of conversation.
Is Dr. Kateh currently in Liberia or the United States? And what led him on the path of health administration (which he did from 2004-2010) and then back to Liberia (in 2011) to run a hospital, then become the Deputy Incident Manager during the Ebola outbreak.
An inspirational story from when Dr. Kateh worked at the hospital in Liberia, right before the Ebola outbreak.
Had there been any Ebola outbreaks prior to the one in 2011? And have they found its source?
About the early days of the Ebola outbreak and Dr. Kateh’s initial work during it.
Dr. Kateh’s major accomplishments in helping to stop the Ebola epidemic in Liberia.
How did Dr. Kateh come up with the two strategies that helped stop Ebola? And how did he make those life-and-death decisions?
In terms of people who had symptoms of Ebola, how difficult was it for Dr. Kateh to convince people to follow his rules for not spreading Ebola?
How did Dr. Kateh get his message out there?
How does time play a part in contracting Ebola? Is there a time-based treatment? What was the “cure” to stopping Ebola?
How the Ebola virus is transferred through touch.
Is there anything Dr. Kateh would’ve done differently when approaching the Ebola virus epidemic?
Does Dr. Kateh think that a large percentage of Liberians would be aware of Ebola if it wasn’t for the crisis? And the precautions they’re still taking on preventing the virus.
Dr. Kateh’s biggest challenge during the Ebola crisis.
What are the current things in Liberia that Dr. Kateh is dealing with today?
Does Dr. Kateh feel he is currently headed in the right direction career-wise? And how he has overcome his past to ultimately become a doctor.
What brings Dr. Kateh to Vancouver?
The hopes and goals for Liberia. 
A quick, funny story from Mark.
Marjorie Ratel tells a few stories on tragedy, pregnancy, education, and Ebola, in Liberia.

Mentioned in this episode

John Hopkins University

Episode Featured on:

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Guest Bio

Dr. Francis Kateh

Dr. Francis Kateh is one of Liberia’s leading health professionals and the Deputy Minister for Health Services, Chief Medical Officer Republic of Liberia.

His passion for quality health care delivery to the people of Liberia cannot be overemphasized. He has provided leadership and management to a wide range of health policies and strategies. His interest is to provide high satisfaction to patients and ensure patient safety. He has proven skills in running cost-effective patient care and establishing monitoring measures to ensure excellence in clinical care.


For more information, take a look at his Curriculum Vitae.

Marjorie Ratel

Marjorie Ratel is the president of the Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation. She founded the Korle-Bu Neuroscience Project in 2000. And by the following year, she and nursing colleagues, along with members of the Ghanaian community, began organizing the shipment of good-quality used medical equipment together with new medical supplies to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) Neurosurgery Unit.

Marjorie Ratel is a strong advocate for access to quality health care in low and middle level income countries and is the spearhead of Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation. 

For her full bio, visit:

About The Host - Mark Therriault

Mark is the Financial Advisor and partner of Nicola Wealth Management — and your host for The Wealth Management podcast.

As a member of the NWM Planning Team since 2006, Mark has become his clients’ trusted advisor. He prides himself on providing an exceptional experience to his clients while quarterbacking their financial affairs.

Mark earned his Bachelor’s degree in Economics with a minor in Finance from the University of Calgary. He went on to secure his CFP designation and also completed the CIM, CSC, the B.C. Life Insurance License.

For his full bio, visit:


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