“I have been asked . to act as ‘the child protection focal point’ … During Thursday night, two people died of Ebola in a quarantine home leaving two small children (8- 6) orphans. How to care for them, likely they are infected? Government has an interim care centre for orphans, street children etc (and there are NGO orphanages around – SOS) but you cannot put potentially infected kids in with the other children, culturally it’s impossible to keep kids apart, to stop them intermingling.
No relative wants to go and stay in a quarantine home. For now, a local nurse is trying to help them by remote … putting meals on the veranda wall and withdrawing to a safe distance.
Those kids must be traumatized beyond imagining – your parents die, then strangers wearing space suits come and take them away, then more men in space suits come and spray your house with funny smelling liquid, people are shouting out to you to stay indoors, granny/auntie does not come…
There is another quarantine home where all the adults have died leaving five kids but at least the oldest is 14/15 years and has a clue about looking after the others until the period of quarantine is over (21 days). Food, soap, drinking water and bits and pieces are provided for 21 days at a time. (If someone dies in a quarantine home, the counting starts again healthy 21 days from your last Ebola contact, then you are let out).
There are 50 something quarantine homes in Makeni, at 29 locations, encompassing 77 households. The burial teams are handling 8 11 burials a day (most are suspected Ebola cases, rather than lab confirmed cases – some hidden from the authorities by their families until it’s too late). Neighbours do report suspicions – there’s a dedicated phone number in Makeni, as well as the national number.
This image is from http://www.bloomberg.com. Amidu is 4 and his sister Hawa is 2, orphaned by Ebola.
Prayers, protection, blessings and love to this friend as she takes up this task. I can’t think of anyone better.