Minnesotan helps fight Ebola in West Africa

Published 10:13 am Monday, June 8, 2015

MANKATO — A Mankato resident who worked in public health and environmental engineering for more than 20 years has been tackling his most dramatic assignment yet: the deadly Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

Since November, Dave Ausdemore has spent much of his time in Monrovia, Liberia. He serves as the Country Director of eHealth Systems Africa, a nongovernmental organization fighting the disease, which has killed more than 11,000 since the first case last spring.

Ausdemore returned to Mankato last month for just the second time since November, The Free Press of Mankato reported. On Friday he and his son, a senior-to-be at Mankato West High School, will return to Monrovia. His son will volunteer there for three weeks, while Ausdemore could stay for another year.

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Ausdemore oversaw more than 200 workers in Liberia’s 15 counties at the height of his organization’s response. He said he and his co-workers worked 16-hour days to build and renovate the country’s poor infrastructure.

“There was just that desperation of, ‘This is getting out of control and we really don’t know what to do,’” Ausdemore said Saturday.