“When we explain our (Ebola) stigmatisation message, there’s a positive reaction from the community because we are working with Ebola survivors in our teams who can directly explain their experience. I think it’s already positive that the community want to listen to us and that they want to share the anti stigma information with their relatives.”
Angeline Teinguiano – MSF Health Promotion Coordinator“People in my neighbourhood thought I was dead… at first people said that Ebola was not real, I helped them understand that it was a real disease, I had to explain to them how the ETC (Ebola Treatment Center) worked, as people believed if you were sent there they would kill you…”
Camara Djenab, 22 years old – MSF Health Promoter and Ebola survivor.Ebola survivors who found themselves isolated found strength in associations across the country who mobilised those who survived the disease, their relatives and people from their communities to fight fear and stigma. These associations are crucial for reintegrating people who had Ebola back into society.
This area (Forecariah) is mainly a rural area where people live from agriculture. Through the association we have created work teams to jointly farm the fields and give an opportunity to the survivors to work again and move on with their lives. We just want to live like everyone else, we don’t want to be stigmatised.
Camara Soriba – President of the Association des Personnes Guerís d‘Ebola de Forecariah (Ebola survivors association of Forecariah)
Angeline Teinguiano (left) and Catty Youmbouno (right) from the HP team walk to the fields of Kalia region to meet the members of APGEF.Portrait of members of the APGEF – Association des Personnes Guerís d’Ebola de Forecariah (Ebola survivors association of Forecariah).
These Ebola survivors associations are very important to fight against the stigmatisation of survivorsand to conduct anti stigma activities
EBOLA: THE WOUND THAT REMAINS
Not only was the scale of this outbreak more than 60 times larger than any previous outbreak, Ebola was completely unknown in West Africa before 2014. The unknown nature of the disease and the magnitude of the outbreak fueled the fear that gripped the country and can still persist today.“When I returned home after leaving the Ebola Treatment Center, only my sons and daughters approached me, all the other people were too scared to. Now the situation is much better but I’m still affected by cataract and because all eye surgery on Ebola survivor is forbidden I cannot be operated on” Salematou Camara, 61 years old – Ebola survivor
“My father’s brothers died of Ebola, this was part of my motivation to come and work at the ETC. We cannot stigmatise the survivors, we need to approach and encourage them.”
Binta Savone, 24 years old – former nurse in the MSF Ebola Treatment Center
“Those affected by Ebola did not choose to be ill… I would like to tell people to approachthem, do not be afraid, to accept them and helpthem forget what they have lived through”.
Thierno Diallo – former hygienist in MSF Ebola Project
“I want to tell to people not to isolate them (Ebola survivors), they are not ‘dangerous’anymore. I’ve been working with them for the last nine months, we eat together, we have fun together, we live together.”
Bolde Thierno Hamidou, 27 years old – Nurse in MSF Ebola survivors project. Before the end of the project, Bolde Thierno Hamidou is inventoring the drugs to be donated.
Camara Djenab, health promoter, scheduling patients visits.
BABY NUBIA, SYMBOL OF RESILIENCE
Nubia is most likely the first newborn to ever survive Ebola, and she was the last patient to be discharged from MSF’s Ebola treatment center in Conakry – a symbol of hope and resilience. Nubia’s mother succumbed of Ebola when giving birth on October 27th 2015.
MSF staff care for Nubia, a three-week old girl and the last known Ebola case in Guinea who has now recovered from the virus.Nubia is carried outside (by a maternal assistant who is herself a survivor of the virus) MSF Ebola Clinic in Conakry. Nov 2015
Nubia is carried outside (by a maternal assistant who is herself a survivor of the virus) MSF Ebola Clinic in Conakry. Nov 2015The outbreak tore apart her large family, killing two out of the three wives of her father – Nubia’s mothers in the extended African family. While some family members, including a brother, remained in the small thatched hut of their village of Kindia, Nubia now lives in Conakry with her maternal aunt Mabinty Soumah.
Nubia’s half brother, M’Bemba, lives in another part of the city with an aunt. They meet when coming for checkups at MSF’s clinic – M’Bemba also is an Ebola survivor. With the closure of the MSF clinic, both Nubia and M’Bemba will be under the care of Guinean doctors working for the Ministry of Health.
Nubia (11 months old) and her half-brother M’Bemba (1 year and 2 months old) with their aunties and foster mothers Mabinty Soumah (right)