Firstly, I am Edwin J.S Musa Yambasu, I am working at M.S.F Spain. I am a health promoter which means someone in charge of information dissemination to the community as well as the health center.
Before Ebola my life was better compared to now because I was a mining engineering student as well as working as a human right activist, and I still remain to be a human rights activist. But the coming of Ebola had made things/activities that I was engaged in begin to decline and become obstructed, so to me the days of Ebola were very disturbing. As I told you earlier, I am a health promoter; health promoters are people who sensitize the public about what Ebola entails and how they can manage themselves from it infection.
One of those skills which we don’t only do at the ETC is that we normally engage people in their communities and pass the information to them. Through these techniques they are better positioned regarding the disease; it is not only for Ebola but for all other infections—how to stay safe. We as health promoters also interact with the patients by encouraging them, and telling them what to do and not to do so that they can get away from the infection. Again, when a patient survives the disease it is us, the health promoters, that will take her or him to the community and sensitize the community about stigmatization.
As I told you earlier, I am an activist. We always cry to the government that we need experts but for me, the course of the six month to eight month interaction that I got with experts, I have learnt a lot of lessons. Such a lesson is health promotion. I have looked at it that the health promotion should fit in our health settings in the country because the doctor is only responsible to administer drugs to the patients. All other things linking up the patient to the base line are not provided by the doctor—this should be put under the health promotion unit of each medical center so that they can coordinate it very well. So I have learnt a lot.
Regarding that, I thought it fit that I should just not keep this knowledge to myself so I established an NGO which is called Action for Protection and Empowerment which aims to promote health and to see that the health behavior could become good in the country.
It is powerful when I see people surviving the disease, especially someone whom I think will not survive, but through my talking with the individual, her/his resilient power to survive increases.
Also, just like what I said about the expert knowledge that I have received, I will strongly challenge the people of Sierra Leone that as far as health promotion is concerned I have the expert knowledge. So as a result I am using the knowledge and skills gained through my NGO which is fully registered. So I believe this will surely help the country if it became materialized, so these are the most powerful experience or moment that I have acquired. The hope that I have for the future is so eminent/great, very superb.