The 25th May 2015 marked a special day: It was exactly one year since the first confirmed Ebola case occurred in Sierra Leone. One year trapped in horror, closed schools, unattended fields, destroyed economy. One year in which a single virus caused more than 3,500 deaths. Hundreds of children became orphans. And the fight is still ongoing.
The people in Sierra Leone are tired of the restrictions imposed by Ebola. They are tired of being scared of Ebola. Impatience and annoyance spread widely. Here is a fragment from the WhatsApp group “WHH Ebola Response”:
President Ernest Bai Koroma invited survivors to mark the sad anniversary and encouraged the public to abstain from stigmatization. He renewed his promise that all survivors who can present a genuine certificate of discharge will enjoy free health care in future. Until the 25th May, 4,013 survivors were registered nationwide.
Also Welthungerhilfe WHH will focus in the upcoming months on support to Ebola survivors. In the centre of our efforts stands economic support: food aid, cash transfers as well as counselling and preventive health care. We hope to give hope to the survivors who carry a heavy burden already. I’m hoping so much that Sierra Leone has only a few weeks left to suffer from Ebola. We ourselves at Welthungerhilfe want to go back to normal, back to our agricultural development projects and long-term perspectives that we’re trying to offer.