By Mike BreenPublished Aug 05, 2018 09:16:10Barry Wood, the former prime minister of Liberia and now a prominent advocate for the West Africa Ebola outbreak, died on Friday in the United States.
Wood was 72 years old.
He was hospitalized for a respiratory illness on Saturday after suffering a heart attack while on a plane from Liberia to the United Kingdom.
Wood, who served as Liberia’s prime minister for five years from 2001 to 2008, was one of the first Western leaders to warn that West Africa was at risk from the Ebola outbreak.
The disease has infected more than 4,000 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
The World Health Organization has called it the most deadly virus on record and the continent has seen more than 50,000 deaths.
The Ebola outbreak has already killed 1,788 people in the West, mostly in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
In a statement, the Liberian Embassy in Washington said it was saddened to learn of the death of the former premier.
“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time,” the statement said.
“Liberia and the Liberians are all in need of help in coping with the Ebola crisis.
We will continue to work closely with the United Nations and the international community to assist Liberia and the West in managing the Ebola pandemic.”
The Ebola epidemic has killed more than 3,500 people in West Africa, the United Nation has said.