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Surgeon with Ebola trained through mission groups

November 14, 2014

MCLEAN, Virginia (AP) — An African surgeon who is coming to the U.S. for treatment after contracting the Ebola virus received much of his surgical training through Christian missionary groups.

Martin Salia is a citizen of Sierra Leone, though his family lives in Maryland as permanent U.S. residents.

He received medical training through the United Brethren in Christ church, which has numerous congregations in Sierra Leone. He later received surgical training through a nondenominational group that seeks to provide African doctors with high-quality training.

A colleague and fellow missionary, Richard Toupin, of Auburn, Indiana, said in a phone interview that Salia may be one of the best-trained surgeons in Sierra Leone.

Colleagues say Salia had been slated to work in Burkina Faso, unaffected by the Ebola outbreak, but those plans fell through.

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