Jerry Brown

TIME 100 2015 Dr. Jerry Brown
Jackie Nickerson for TIME

A West African lifesaver

Last summer many around the world were shocked as we watched the Ebola crisis unfold. We were devastated by what we saw and keen to help. One man, Dr. Jerry Brown, watched too and did just that. He took action and stopped people from dying of Ebola. Through his work as medical director of the Eternal Love Winning Africa Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, and in the face of skepticism and misunderstanding, he trained, taught and treated waves of people who came to his hospital.

I am in awe of the health workers who worked so hard to prevent the spread of this disease, but I am especially in awe of Dr. Brown. His courage and determination to fight this disease undoubtedly kept alive many health workers and helped communities fight this deadly virus. It is perhaps too soon to say we have defeated Ebola, but we have certainly started to turn the tide.

West Africa and Sierra Leone have a special place in my heart because my father was born there. Like me, I’m sure he would have been proud of the work that people like Dr. Brown did to fight Ebola. It is because of this man’s actions—rather than his words—that many lives were saved.

Elba, an English actor, starred in The Wire and Luther

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