LIVING WITH EBOLA: UPDATE FROM NURSE IN SIERRA LEONE

“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.

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15 thoughts on “LIVING WITH EBOLA: UPDATE FROM NURSE IN SIERRA LEONE

  1. How horrific for those poor children. They must be bewildered and distraught losing their families and having no guidance or close support. A hug would go a long way wouldn’t it? Heartbreaking and makes me realise just how lucky we are to simply live in the West

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  2. Thinking of corruption, those people who are now ‘sitting on their thrones’ shall NOT always be young and strong. Soon, and probably sooner than ‘they’ can even realize, these two precious children will be in their stead. All around, the children of now shall be grown children. This shall be yet another opportunity to lead their country into a benign state, with the help of wise older ones and the Love of God. Today, the misery and wickedness that is going on shall one day be a blip on the pages of History. God Willing. JWxx

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    1. Indeed – and the future of kids everywhere in the developing world orphaned by not only Ebola, but also Aids, malaria, etc etc 😦 Fortunately a lot is being done by charities etc but I so wish that African governments would step up to their responsibilities a lot more. Corruption is endemic.

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  3. Like Menhir I too am struck dumb….what on earth can be done, the suffering of the children must be terrible. Your posts re ebola are not on the news, I wonder why, surely more can be done to help, how would we deal with such children in the uk? It’s a terrible epidemic, I hope it dies down….xxx

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