10 December 2014
Last updated at 21:50
Time magazine has named Ebola healthcare workers in West Africa its ‘Person of the Year’ for 2014.
Doctors, nurses and other staff who show « courage and mercy » were singled out by the magazine for praise.
« The rest of the world can sleep at night because a group of men and women are willing to stand and fight, » said Time’s editor, Nancy Gibbs.
The runner-ups included Ferguson protesters, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba.
Nearly 6,331 people have been killed by the Ebola virus, most of them in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
About 349 healthcare workers have died after contracting the disease.
Henry Gray from Doctors without Borders, said: « We are happy for this recognition but will be even happier when the last Ebola treatment centre is closed and the crisis is declared over. »
The White House expressed its approval as well.
Speaking for President Barack Obama, Press Secretary Josh Earnest said he « could not be prouder of the brave men and women who have committed themselves to this effort in a foreign land ».
« But we must not forget that in order to bring this epidemic under control on the front lines, indeed the only way to prevent additional cases here in the United States, we need more of these medical professionals » Mr Earnest continues.
Several US aid workers contracted the virus in West Africa and returned to the US for treatment.