Spain grants citizenship to 'Ebola heroes'

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Spain grants citizenship to 'Ebola heroes'
Paciencia Melgar donated her blood to be used in the treatment of Spanish nursing assistant Teresa Romero. Photo: Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP

Spain on Friday awarded Spanish citizenship to two African missionaries who helped ensure the recovery of Madrid-based nursing assistant Teresa Romero.


Spain has granted citizenship to Paciencia Melgar Ronda from Equatorial Guinea and Helena S. Wolo from Liberia for the role they played in Romero's recovery, Spain's 20 minutos newspaper reported.

Ronda, 47, a nurse who recovered from Ebola after contracting the virus in Liberia, travelled to Madrid to donate blood plasma to Romero. She also allowed doctors to use her as a test case so they could observe the long-term evolution of her recovery.

The 36-year-old Wolo also travelled from her home country of Liberia to Spain and donated plasma used in the treatment of the infected Spanish nursing assistant.

Doctors said their assistance had been vital to Romero's recovery.

Romero, the first person known to have contracted Ebola outside of Africa, contracted the disease after treating two Spanish missionaries who had been repatriated from Sierra Leone.

She left hospital on November 5th after being given the all-clear by doctors.

On Friday, a Spanish health worker with the Spanish NGO Médicos sin Fronteras was repatriated from Mali after she suffered a "high risk" needlestick injury while treating a patient with the Ebola virus on Thursday in the Malian capital of Bamako.

She has been admitted to Madrid's Carlos III hospital where she has been quarantined as a precaution. She is currently asymptomatic, doctors said.


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