Posts in Heroes

Ebola Hero: Samson Koroma

June 22nd, 2016 Posted by Heroes No Comment yet

I was a student and a football player, but when Ebola came everything stopped so I decided to go and join in the fight.

I played a great role in the fight. When I joined the centre I was first assigned to mix chlorine and later they changed my work to collecting patients from the far hill side.

I learnt how to attend to Ebola patients. I learnt how to attend to people that are sick, and how to approach them.

My most powerful experience has to do with the treatment centre. The way people were struggling, especially children who were undergoing difficulties like vomiting and messing up themselves, I was not happy at all. That caused a lot of fear in me, but I summoned up courage and determination and said if children were suffering from the virus who was I not to suffer for them?

My hope for the future is to become an accountant.

 

Ebola Hero: Daniel Conteh

June 22nd, 2016 Posted by Heroes No Comment yet

My name is Daniel Conteh, I am a burial team driver.

I was a commercial driver. But when Ebola came and they had no way out, we were called upon to help fight for our country. That’s what gave me the zeal to come on board.

When Ebola started last September, we used to pick up corpses that were left up to ten to twelve days and were smelling badly. Even I, as the driver, had to put on protection for my nose so the odour would not affect me. I drive until we are at the cemetery and then we offload them. At times when we go to Freetown to collect corpses residing in mountainous areas, we risk taking the vehicles to these places. If you make a little mistake, you could be involved in an accident and die. We were employed to fight for our country to drive away this Ebola.

I was isolated by my friends. In fact they used to call me late Daniel Conteh. They believed I was going to die at any time. They even provoked me, asking if I have bought my coffin. When some of my colleague drivers were called upon to help fight the Ebola they refused saying they do not want to die. So just because I agreed to join I was tagged as late Mr. Conteh. Even my landlord was afraid, and he asked me to find another place if this was the work I was going to do. I told him I was fighting for this country, but I had to find another place very quickly in this time. This is the experience I have had.

I hope for the future that the epidemic we will be recognised by the government. I have four kids and am an older man. I don’t think I will be able to go to college again, but let them help our kids. If they can also find a place for us to build our houses it would be even better.

I will feel proud as a Sierra Leonean, and we have been regarded as heroes by the government. I will feel safe to move around any corner of the country.

Ebola Hero: Daniel Amara Bongroh

June 22nd, 2016 Posted by Heroes No Comment yet

My name is Superintendent Daniel Amara Bongroh, I am attached to the special operations department in Freetown west. Before Ebola came, I have always been a police officer and am still here as an operation officer. When Ebola started, I was tasked by my boss to deploy personnel at quarantine homes and to help the burial team to carry out their burials. Sometimes when there is a delay, I am called on to clear some blockages for the burial team to make head way into quarantine homes.

Firstly we must have respect for health issues. When they say don’t touch sick people, don’t. Culturally we are used to touching them, but in this situation, don’t, call 117 to come to their aid. Even if it’s malaria. I also learn that you cannot greet everyone at this stage, as you don’t know who has the disease.

Something happened that I will never forget. I had a colleague inspector who we lost to Ebola. He was a very close friend to me. Even his child who I was taking care of also died of Ebola, and my grandma residing in the village died due to Ebola. I can’t forget them easily.

We are still fighting to put Ebola behind us so we must adhere to all the signs and symptoms of the disease in order for it not to show up again. We must listen to the advice of the medical professionals. Once this is done I am sure Ebola will not resurface again.

I shared the grief of other people and so we will also share the good times together. If Ebola happens to show up in another country and we are consulted, we can be in a better position to tell them that this was the procedure we went through to get to where we are. We can tell them to avoid certain cultural practices like washing dead bodies, and too many greetings. These are the things we need to teach other people.

Ebola Hero: Abu Bakar Kamara

June 22nd, 2016 Posted by Heroes No Comment yet

My name is Abubakarr Kamara, I am a stretcher bearer in Burial Team 1.

I was a student but in 2012 but I had to drop out due to some unavoidable reasons. In 2014 to 2015 we had the Ebola crisis. Those in the front lines fighting the disease requested people to volunteer, but we were afraid. Not everybody had the courage to join the burial team. But four of us joined.

We only had one team in Western Area Rural. We would go in the vehicle to bury, and when we walked around people would drive us away. We really faced stigmatisation from the community, even when we wanted to buy food or other things. We used to wear protective footwear, and no sooner did they see us wearing the boots would they would drive us away or run from us. We really faced challenges.

What I will never forget is the pain of losing my wife and child in December. I told my boss who asked me to be on my own for the 21 day quarantine. After the 21 days, I resumed burying corpses.

People abused us, blamed us, and accused us of not wanting to end Ebola. What made me happy was when we were taught how to be patient and not show anger easily. I reduced my anger a bit, even in times of grief.

I can’t say all I’ve learnt but I remember during the month of December at a place in Calabatown, we visited a home where everyone died except for just one child. No one could rescue the child. We were called upon to collect the corpses, but those around us told us to first take the child to the hospital whilst his father was quarantined.

At first I was responsible for spraying dead corpses, but now I am a stretcher-bearer. But we have decided amongst ourselves to do it by turn.

I am now a hero. I want the government to do something for us. We have been highly stigmatised, some of us have been driven from home. For instance, I don’t have a good relationship with my father anymore just because I decided to join the Ebola team. So he decided to leave me and relocated to Kambia because he thought I was going to die or transfer the Ebola to them.

Ebola Hero: Abdul K. Sesay

June 22nd, 2016 Posted by Heroes No Comment yet

My name is Abdul K. Sesay.

Before Ebola I was living a normal life, everything was going smoothly. Ebola killed some of our community, and I believe that was what gave us the courage to fight against the virus.

I played an important role. I was on the frontline, meeting one on one with Ebola patients, cleaning them up, and helping both the doctors and nurses.

I have learnt how to protect myself so even if Ebola resurfaces I can now take care of myself. It helped me because I also sensitized my community on what to do and what not to do with Ebola.

My powerful moment was a sad one because that was the first day I entered into the red zone when I saw little kids laying down on the ground with the virus in them. That was what gave me the strength to work with all my heart because I don’t want to see kids suffering. That was my most powerful moment.

They were suffering, some could not even eat for themselves nor could they do anything for themselves. I have my own kid, so I saw them as mine as well. Even though that was not my unit I decided to go there and help frequently.

I have a lot of hope for the future and I still have hope for the work I have done. The president promised us that he would thank us after our work. We still hope and pray to God that it will come to pass, even though some of us have been relieved from our work in May.

I hope to be someone. I am still going to school now at the tertiary level and I hope this will help me to become someone in the future.

Ebola Hero: Abdul Conteh

June 22nd, 2016 Posted by Heroes No Comment yet

My name is Abdul Conteh. I am a driver for the burial team. Before Ebola came to Sierra Leone I was working.

I was working as a Caterpillar operator, but the Ebola crisis lead to the closure of a lot of places, leaving me jobless.

When we heard about Ebola we were all afraid. I decided to volunteer anyway; I believe that even if God has destined my death here I must fight for my country. I talked to Mr. Manso who is the coordinator for a burial team. He trained me and later gave me a job.

When I started working, all my friends and even my family members were afraid of me, and they stayed far from me. Where I lived at the time, they began to treat me differently and give me new conditions just to get me to leave. I understood what they were doing and moved to another place for shelter, even though the standards were not good. I stayed there while doing this job because at least I had peace. I was in a relationship with a woman but she was not living with me, so I used to visit her using the burial vehicle when I was less busy. When people used to see me they would report me to the head of the community complaining that I was visiting their community in an Ebola vehicle. He later spoke with me and warned me to never use the burial vehicle to visit the community. I agreed since I was deeply in love with my fiancée. Later when the virus started subsiding those who had neglected me in my times of need started coming back. I spoke to them but not with all my heart because they had already showed me who they were.

I lived with some people who denied that Ebola never existed, but God showed them it did. For instance, I had a friend who was always denying it. His wife’s sister contracted Ebola and was admitted. His wife was close to another affected person who later died, and my friend’s wife contracted the virus. He secretly took his wife to his place and she later died. In the end, my friend also died. This scared the whole community into believing that Ebola was a reality. It was really very sad.

We were also working in the holding centres where I never saw anyone survive the Ebola virus. It was a place where people went to die. Within two days people would die, despite them looking strong when they arrived. Even when we are on our way to bury a corpse, we would be called upon and told another person has died. We would even see people who were weak sitting outside and within the twinkle of an eye they would die. Those were some of the scary things I saw.

Some people never believed in the existence of Ebola, if they had believed I don’t think it would have spread like it did.

I hope the government will acknowledge what I have gone through and do something so we are not forgotten. I volunteered to fight because this is a war. I fought and God has helped me to succeed. I have the hope that they would do something for me. Within myself I believe we are heroes, and with Ebola we were able to strike back. We don’t know when we will get another outbreak. They should not have separated us instead found a location and erected at least two rooms and a parlour for every family so in case of another outbreak they will know that we are here and we can defend our country.

Ebola Hero: Rugiatu Kamara

July 22nd, 2015 Posted by Heroes No Comment yet

My name is Rugiatu Kamara. I am a teacher. I teach at the Elsielisk Preparatory school I got my teacher certificate from portloko teachers college. Presently I do home school lesson for my community members from age 3-15 years. So I took this risk in order to help sustain the educational aspect of the children whilst they are at home not going to school due to this Ebola disease in the country.

I was personal affected by Ebola. I am a qualified teacher and we had close school by September and should have reopened by now but because of this epidemic all schools had not yet been opened till now. Since that time I have just been loafing around at home doing nothing at all. And so I personally very much aware of education. I was affected by the deadly Ebola disease.

Ebola really affected me because schools have not yet resume for the academic years, So I sat one day in my house and thought to myself that I need to find a means of helping these children’s that are just roaming all around in my community each and every day. And seeing those in such state really makes me sad and I also know that there parent too are not happy leaving them idle at home and going to the offices or business places. And when they get back at home they will be tired and sleepy after a long day of play. So I decided to facilitate a home school lesson wherein they will be occupied when there parent live for work. That was how the idea of helping these came about.

The family that I belonged to and my community can are really in support of the educating the younger and older ones that are willing to learn. With educational you can achieve the impossibilities on earth. And my family members are very much aware of education. Because it is priceless and permanent Being an educated person makes you to become someone that is very prominent and outspoken.

The home lesson started from Monday to Fridays. Between the hours of 9:00am -1:00 pm in the afternoon hours. I and my colleague do teach different subjects that are for both Junior and senior school levels. And at the ends of each lesson class we gave each student assignment that they can occupy themselves with when they are at home. And we teach them according to the syllabus.

I took this job because I have been passion and sympathy for the community especially for the younger kids. Schools had been closed since September and the Ebola disease which is a threat to the whole country has made education gone backwards for school going pupils an even for the teachers. Most children just sit at home idle after their parents have gone to work. And I am a qualified teacher who just sits at home doing nothing. Whilst the children are languishing at home doing absolutely nothing at all to keep them busy academically. Although this home school lesson does not cater for large number of children because of the sitting accommodation but my community do benefit from it a lot. So I decided to get the children occupied with the syllabus for the academic year in order for them have not to miss the teachings that they should been thought in school.

My job as a teacher is very important to me and the community for example when a child is born he/she does not know how to do things at home. Instead they have to be taught by their family to do things members that are around them how to say things and even what they should do. Right from the home teaching starts. The mother is the first teacher of her child. But not everyone is born to be a professional teacher. That why children go to school where they will meet people whose passion is to teach. Even in the colleges they also have lecturers that are trained to impact knowledge in them so therefore teachings Job is much important.

It is very difficult teaching during this time of crisis that we have in Sierra Leone. There is no enough space to accommodate all the children that we have in this community. Even the furniture’s that we use as desk and chair are not proper and comfortable for the younger kids. There is even difficulty with some of the parent in bringing their wards to class at the specified time that is classes starts at 9:00am and every child is expected to be on time.

I am praying fervently to the almighty God for such a disease like Ebola to ever happen in Sierra Leone. But if it happens my only advice to the parents and even the government head. I know they are trying to protect lives and also the children. But my own advice to my colleagues is that please has pity on the children and help them in your own little way. By conducting a home school lessons like the one I volunteered to open at home for my community. Even if this home school lesson is opened in every area/community. The children should not be left idle at home doing nothing. These kids are the future leaders of this our beloved country Sierra Leone. And in order for them to achieve this goal they need to be taught well and trained in school

I really thank God for my life because nothing happened to me during this time of crisis. And my family members are safe. We only have some issues. The private school is different from the government schools. Even if you don’t work you’ll be paid. But the private school does not operate that way. Just imagine I have been out of job since September to this day and I have my kids and other family members to cater for. And I have no one to help me.

Now, I know there is hope and there is a light at the end and with God I know things will get back to normal. We only need to continue taking precautions and abstain from touching or washing dead bodies. We should also not neglect the message that are being passed on in the radios, television about how to prevent this disease from entering into our houses. But I have the faith that we are going to overcome this very soon.

My struggle now is just that there is not enough space to accommodate these children. there is not enough tables and chairs to sit and write on. The atmosphere is not conducive at all for learning. We are just squeezing to help the children during this Ebola crisis.

Yes the teachings professional is a part of the whole struggle. It is not possible for everyone to know how to read and write. Some are illiterate. But yet still parent find it hard to abide by the rules

The manner in which i saw the cooperation of the and parent and the mission of the children towards learning really kept me strong and never disappointed. These children are really egger to learn. You can see that they want to continue schooling again if not for this Ebola disease that has made everything stand still in the country. Despite all the odds they still have faith and they are committed although some don’t come early on time, but yet still when they come you see the willingness in them to go through every exercise in class.

I was fighting against Ebola who serves as a threat that wants to bring our education system to zero. And I stood by the grace of the almighty God who kept on protecting us and giving us the zeal and courage every day to continue with classes. Through I am not a nurse and I do not have the medicines to protect them. But with the help of God, none of them have been sick or even contacted the virus. Even in my community, we have never had a case of suspected Ebola people or confirmed cases. There is always soap and water to wash their hands when they come to class and even when leaving for their various homes.

There are so many things that have gone backwards due to this Ebola disease in Sierra Leone. So students have lack wisdom and what they were taught before in school most of them do not remember it now. Even the business places have lost so many good things. But it’s only with the help of God that has kept us going strong. And I also appreciate the parents that are cooperating in doing this home school lesson and cannot understand the threat of this deadly virus called.

The only way to help them is to teach them how and what they can do to help eradicate this virus from their community. Also we use the media to transmit messages in different language across the county. There are so methods that we use to teach using language and signs to communicate well. This is what is required to fight Ebola disease out of our communities.

My wish for my beloved country Sierra Leone is that we never be faced with such thing like the Ebola disease again. And I wish that things will get back to how it was before and even be better than how it was. We all live happy as a one big family walk lot of fun and love amongst us.

This is a lesson for us Sierra Leoneans now. There is a law of not touching the dead bodies and avoid body contact amongst ourselves. Keeping sick persons in your house is very risky and not safe for you. But as soon as they announce that we have zero case and we are free from Ebola. People will just change and ignore the precautions that were giving and they will start condoling all sorts of things they use to do before. In wining this fight we have to go through process and abide by the rules. We do not know if this disease will be really gone for real and its not going to come back. Let us continue listen to what the doctors are saying to us so that we can be set free from the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone.

What I think will be my contribution to help the government to accomplish this fight against Ebola is to continue giving instruments to my students to give the parents when they get home is to always use soap, Detrol and water to wash their hands when they get home. And even when visitors come to visit them in there houses I also tell them not to get any body contact with strangers or even when they do that they should always have sanitizers them whenever they go to. They also are there to remind there parent not to keep sick person at home but instead they should take them to the hospital or call 117

 

 

 

 

 

Ebola Hero: Raymond Herbert Johnson

July 22nd, 2015 Posted by Heroes No Comment yet

My name is Raymond Herbert Johnson.  I am a Bachelor of Science and also a teacher. And am 28 years old.

I choose this work because if someone from the community does not volunteer to do the work as a community mobilize to visit the ghettos, neighbouring houses then nobody else would be able to do the work required. And the people will not accept the person since he is not from their community and he cannot be a part of them or even work with them. So for this reason I decided to take up the responsibility and serve in my community as a health mobilizer. And my community was venerable to the Ebola disease.

Yes the community volunteer work was very important to me. As a   mobilize we were at the forefront of the battle against the Ebola disease. And if we do not go to the battle field we won’t be able to bridge the gap between the people that are not aware of the disease and how dangerous it is to humans. So we are there to sensitize them about the disease and how we need to prevent it from spreading and killing everybody in the community. That is why I believe my job as a community volunteer was very important.

Some of the hard moment that I hard during the period was passing on the information to the people. Because when we arrived in most communities’ people demanded things not relating to the work we were supposed to do. Most people told us that they heard about the Ebola funds that have been given to the government. And I was stigmatized and harassed. So many questions which I heard no answer to because I was only involved in voluntary work. People were curious about the budget of the funds and if we were involved in spending it. And how they themselves can benefit from it. It was very difficult to speak with them since there focus was on the money and nothing was of interest to them. We had to let them know that we were doing a voluntary work and it has nothing to do with the Ebola funds coming into the country. The most important reason we took this is for our country to be safe and free from Ebola virus. Some of them didn’t believe what we told them and some did believe in us even though they thought that we are the people that are responsible for the Ebola epidemic in the country.

There are so many hard times during this period and I was motivated by my community that at all cost it has to be safe and free from this virus. Despite the odds I went to the extra mile and spoke to each and every member of my community. I knew about the disease and how deadly it can be if it comes to a community. It will be a disaster and it will affect even my family members that are in the community. So I sum up courage that whatever it takes I should inform all my community members about the disease and how they should prevent it from entering into our community. I also told them the reason why they should prevent the disease from entering into the community. Because once it has entered it will cause great damage to our lives and maybe even my family members would be affected.

I as a community volunteer or mobilize my enemy was this deadly virus called Ebola and so I was fighting against it although not physically, as I can’t see the virus itself with my physical eyes but I know it is in my country and my community is vulnerable to it. And I was able to do that by volunteering and I went to an organization that hired me as a social mobilize and a community health worker. I visited various communities and told them about the disease and how deadly it can be. The Ebola disease was not formed by human scientist for a reason that is harmful to people. Ebola is a disease that can wipe off a whole family and a whole community.

The thing that empowered me most is that I should never give up on the battle and also be in the winning side. If I lose I die and can’t sustain it. If you do not take all the preventive measures you lose and die. And so I have to stay alive, win and tell others about the disease and how it can be prevented. And in my community I interact with everybody and my life too was at risk if I fail to tell them about the disease.

My family also was my greatest motivation. Other family members were not available to do the volunteer work. They were afraid that once you are involved in fighting Ebola it will fight against you and your family members. But the very moment my family knew that I was going to do the job they gave me encouraging words that whatsoever I am going to do is for my country Sierra Leone. And that was very important that such words came from them especially my mum and my sisters. They accommodated me whenever I come home from my work, they make sure that I take my bath using detoil and soap. I was not stigmatized because of the position of my job.

My family gave me so much support and always reminded me that what I’m doing is for my country and also my community members. Despite the stigmatization from people, my family always accept me whenever I came back home from work and made sure that I was ok.

I will always remember this Ebola virus. Especially the good doctors we had in our country that had died fighting this virus. They are more knowledgeable about the disease but yet still they died and others survived. That will always be a tragedy and I pray that this will never happen again to us in Sierra Leon. One of the most memorable moments is when the virus first affected us in Freetown. I had a family doctor that was called doctor Willoughby. When I heard that he had contacted the disease I was very sad and devastated. And at that point I lost courage because even the professionals are affected by the disease then who am I to speak against it.

The main issues about this Ebola in our country are that the government was not active in putting preventions at the very beginning of it. And if in 10years this deadly virus comes back to our country which I pray it never does. I will let my colleagues know that in writing this started in Bo city we have to make sure it doesn’t set to the other villages and towns. Because in Africa our culture involves a lot of interactions and body contact. So my colleagues should sum up the courage like me and help sensitize people against the virus of Ebola in Sierra Leone.

Please I will like the government and also the country as a whole to take pre active measures and help eradicate Ebola virus in Sierra Leone and also in other countries that are affected.

My life changed greatly, ever since I took the community volunteer job most people in my community now see me as a hero. Whatever miss conception that had about the Ebola funds and me have changed since I passed on vital information on how they could prevent the Ebola virus from entering and affecting our community which helped them a lot in being safe and free from Ebola. My community members admire and respect me a lot now than before.

In this fight against Ebola in which I was involved in I was afraid me being infected with it. But in winning this fight we have to be determined inorder for us to win. And since we took the job in our community the virus was less active amongst our community members because they were aware on how to prevent it. So I see myself as a very important figure in my community because of my involvement in social mobilization.

As we all know Ebola is a struggle in our country presently if I had not been involved in voluntary mobilizes work in my community. They wouldn’t have accept the message and responded to the preventives as they did when I told them about the disease and how deadly it can be to our community. They listened to the information about Ebola and they helped stopped the spreading of it in our community and amongst family members

Well my wish and hope for my country Sierra Leone is plenty. I wish Sierra Leone will become a paradise that will flourish with so many beautiful things and good leaders. Also I wish for Sierra Leone to be blessed with good health system and educational system. Most of all a good economic system so that everyone can earn money that can sustain their families as a whole.

The best thing that I think and will like is for Ebola to be out of Sierra Leone. And we be declared an Ebola free country once again everything will get back to normal and we can all be happy. All our dreams and endeavour in the past months can be achieved. We have lost so many important people in this fight. Like the doctors, nurses, soldiers, civilians etc. Although it will not be easy to forget these people because they sacrificed a lot to this country.

 

 

 

Ebola Hero: Mohamed Sarafu bah

July 22nd, 2015 Posted by Heroes No Comment yet

I am Mohamed Sarafu Bah, a student of Fourah Bay College and I am presently working for the 117 Ebola Response Centre as a call Back Operator.

I believe every sierra Leonean one way or the other has been personally affected by the Ebola epidemic in the three regions Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. Our daily lives have been one way or the other hampered because we have to make adjustments here and there. For instance more and more Sierra Leoneans are now conscious of the way they travel, certain places have been restricted from frequent movement from time to time. Goods and services have been affected especially agricultural product, sometimes this lid to scarcity. So you see on that note, I believe every Sierra Leonean has been affected like the president rightly said ‘’this is the case of state health emergency’’.

Being a sierra Leonean and realising that our country presently is under this crisis. I feel the need to join in the fight against Ebola, so when the opportunity came without even thinking I jumped in and that was how I landed my current job.

So for me sitting behind the computer with a headset on was both new to me as a person because I have not been used to it and spending 7 hours a shift is very challenging. We are all humans but it is an emergency situation. People don’t call you because they feel relaxed and most times when they do call they are distress, someone calls who might be frustrated and i as a young person with all that responsibility on my head have to handle the caller alone. First of all I have to get information from the person, I will have to placate them before getting information and sometimes we do get reluctant callers. You can’t go on and blame them because they are in a very difficult position so that is why I said it has been very challenging for me but on the whole I wouldn’t give myself a 100%. On the whole it has been fulfilling because most of the time i am able to placate the callers. I worked as a call operator for sometimes before being promoted as a call back operator which is a bit different from picking up calls as an operator. As a call back operator you have to call to make follow ups on people who have called earlier to make their case.

Well I see evidence of that every day. I will not give myself all the praises but it is obvious we are playing our part in bringing down this epidemics.

I think my work here an operator is very important. I am not going to say that 100% we have done all the work but certainly we have done our work and even the calls we receive is important. For the mere fact that we are in a strategic situation where in we collect all the information and then pass it out to the command centre for them to take effective responses signifies our importance. It is not an over statement our work here is challenging but at the end of the day we are happy with ourselves. I want to cast your mind back to the time when we had high number of cases in December but as the months passed we now have fewer cases. We here at Afcom who have been receiving calls have been paying attention to our work. So, I believe our role is very pivotal.

One thing that’s common with this job is hard moment because you as a human even without saying a word when someone calls you and the first thing you hear is wailing or crying you know that something is wrong even without getting the full detail. It is not that ordinary call that you get from family or family to check on you, so hard moment is all part of the work. I must say at the beginning I did find it quite hard because it is not something you get used to. Sitting behind your desk for 7 hours you get calls and it is often sad news that someone is sick or dying. You know the kind of mental picture you get even though you are not at the scene but it is almost like its spontaneous we are humans and we all have emotions. Sometimes even without thinking your emotion creeps up in you and the next thing you find yourself expressing your sympathy to the person because you know it’s sad.

Ebola is what all Sierra Leoneans are hoping to kick out including our fellow neighbour Guinea and Liberia. We are all fighting to kick out Ebola.

To me I see it as it’s on all of us and we need to get our resources together to get back to our normal ways where children will be able to go to school, business people will be able to plough the rough of the various provinces to the capital bringing goods which will lead to a booming economy.

Everyday has been a new experience for me because I don’t wake up in the morning expecting to answer the same calls. Every call I make is different from the other.

It has taken my empathy to a whole different level. I see myself now as a humanitarian more and more, every story I hear touches me personally and also it has opened the world to me in a way that things I wouldn’t have thought of myself doing some how I feel comfortable now. You come here knowing that you are not directly involved with the sick people or the corpses but in a way you are somehow responsible because you have to make that case. If they are going to attend to a case you have your own part to play which in a way you are involved. For me, I see that as my greatest responsibility. Now I am doing certain things that I would have backed off from and think that am too young. It is right there in front of me and i have to face it as a person and there is no escaping once you put yourself in my shoes and think of it. You come here, running down to work early in the morning or late at night knowing full well that the stores you are going to hear for the most part are not pleasant and they are going to do with something we are all very afraid off. The images of being sick and losing your life even when you get off work either consciously or subconsciously plays in your mind.

This brings me to the fact that we are very grateful to IsraAid who has taken this initiative to offer 2 hour session where we get to pour out our grief and also they have provided us with various diverse ways to deal with stress since the work is very stressful. We are very grateful for such wonderful opportunities.

My life has changed as a person and now I look at life in a different perspective. When someone calls you to report an emergency case in which a person has collapsed and they are waiting for an ambulance but due to certain delay of the ambulance the person ends up dead. This makes you feel guilty even though you should not be because it is not your fault and you can’t do anything about it.

It is not a happy ending and you never stop thinking that a doctor who has been responsible for thousands of people are now dead is a big loss to the nation.

For me the picture I am creating in my mind as i come here to execute my day to day activity is that I want to see children going back to school, hospitals re-opening, workers going about their normal duties and businesses flourishing like they used to. In short I want to see the end of the state of emergency. I see it as a personal goal.

 

 

 

Ebola Hero: Lucinda faith Samuka

July 22nd, 2015 Posted by Heroes No Comment yet

My name is Lucinda faith Samuka

I am a nurse I am medical person I study reproductive health and Hiv and aids

I like my community because people are peaceful and everybody mind their own business

I have family I used to have my mother, father and other relatives

Ebola killed all my family

It affect me personally because myself I am survivor, I was infected but due to early treatment today I am here.

To help survivor and to tell them that if anybody show signs of Ebola they should call 117 they will be cured if they respond to treatment. If you have anybody at home that is showing signs of Ebola call 117 so they will come and pick the person and take them to the treatment centre or if you are not able to call 117 you can go to any nearby treatment centre I belive that if you do this you will be cured

They think my work is good because Ebola has destroy our country and killed so many people so if we want to help to push the fight against Ebola so that Ebola will be eradicated is a very good thing so they are happy

My work is to help other people who have been infected with the virus but survived some of this survivors after they discharge and return home the community reject them and stigmatize them they find it very difficult to live in the community again, even your friends abandon you I am an example am just on my own nobody visit me or come close to me sometimes I will sit alone for a very long time till I feel sleepy then I will go into my room and sleep. I am unemployed right now so I have nothing to do

Yes my job is very important, I talked to fellow survivors that all is not lost after surviving this deadly virus we need to get hope that one day we would be somebody in life

When I was infected with the Ebola virus it was not really easy for me I was vomiting, having continuous diaria I was paralized but I thank God now due to prayers and early treatment I am ok now

what kept me strong is prayer because I am very prayerful and also medication. The centre where I was taken to the hastings treatment centre they are very careful even though other centres are not careful but where I was taken to they are very careful and I was also responding to treatment

Well I use God`s power because with God everything is possible so I use the name of the lord and Jesus so I survived

well my spiritual father Bishop Abu Koroma inspired me he told me that all is not lost that through faith in God I will not die I will survive

I have learnt a lot it was very difficult for me just like I said before when I was at the treatment centre I was paralized the workers at the centre were doing everything for me I was unable to do anything for myself so am telling the people out there to call 117 if they show signs and symptoms of Ebola or you go to any treatment centre so you will get treated

My advice to the people is for them to be strong get faith wipe out Ebola let us do not allow the spread of Ebola again as soon as you see sign of Ebola report as soon as possible to the treatment centre or call 117

My life change because I am alone now I have no one to talk to the community that I live in the stigma is too much so am not happy in this kind of situation because am lonely and I have lost all my family member I have no one to take care of me I have lost my job too life is very difficult for me

After returning from the treatment centre we the survivors form an organization called SLAES and I am the director of public relation I advocate for the organization for help from stakeholders to help us kick Ebola out of Sierra Leone because it has destroy so many lives we are taking the lead because there is a slogan that says who feels it knows it we know what is inside the treatment centre so we will pass on the information to people out their that all is not lost you only need early treatment and prayer to pull through that is why we form this organization some survivors do not have house to live after returning from the treatment centre but I was lucky my mother build this place so after I was discharged I came back here to live but for others it is very difficult for them some sleep in crude cars and do not have food to eat so we are calling on stakeholders to help us with funds so we will be able to help other survivors who need help because it is difficult for us as we have lost everything but we know we will conquer

For Ebola to be eradicated and everything going back to normal and I will be employed again

We are helping to fight against Ebola we are joining hands with other organizations social welfare and others together we will kick Ebola out of Sierra Leone

I will keep on passing the information I will talk to others if someone died call 117 do not touch or wash dead bodies if someone is sick do not hide them take them to the treatment centre I belive if we do all this Ebola will end

We the survivors need help people are discriminating and stigmatizing us we are unemployed and some of us have lost our families life is difficult for us, the community have abandoned us if we get the help that we need we will be happy again

My name is Lucinda faith samuka I am a nurse currently I am the director of public relation for the Sierra Leone association of Ebola survivors. I lost 11 members of my family right now am lonely.