Stories: Ebola

  • For One woman, Working on an Ebola Burial Team Cracked Her Life Open

    At the height of the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, the rumors came fast and furious: The government was injecting patients with Ebola to shake more aid money out of the West; the best way to prevent Ebola was to drink salt water – gallons of it – or maybe bleach; the disease could be cured by onions, exorcisms, condensed...

  • Ebola’s Shunned Heroes

    Esther Kine’s nightmares don’t require much imagination. What she sees when she closes her eyes is what she used to see when they were open: twisted bodies, screaming families, a thousand gaping graves all waiting to be filled—by her. Fatmata Barrie, the first female Ebola burial team worker in Sierra Leone, puts on...

  • Sierra Leone Mental Health Experts Aim to Pluck Out Heart of Ebola Mystery

    When Ebola struck Sierra Leone in 2014, its terror lay in its mystery. It was a gruesome disease that no one had seen before, and claimed lives without apparent cause or cure. But Mohamed Moray had a broader perspective. “It was just like the war,” he says, referring to the civil conflict of the 1990s, in...

  • Ebola’s Aftermath in Sierra Leone: ‘This Is How I Know Women Are So Strong’

    When Meminatu Sesay began to feel sick one day in September 2014, no one told her sister Fatmata to hold her as she cried, or to wipe the sweat from her flushed face. No one asked Fatmata to clean up after her sister, to bring her water, or to crack jokes to pass the overheated afternoons in her sister’s...

  • Tourists Abandon Ghana Despite Its Successes Against Ebola

    Each evening the fishermen set out in their hand-carved wooden boats. By nightfall, the horizon is dotted by a long row of small lights, their own constellation. Fish are caught, the haul is sold in markets and life continues. But one group is noticeably absent from Elmina and other towns along Ghana’s coast – tourists. ...

  • Ebola Is A Symptom Of Our Compounding Failures

    As the WHO Director-General addressed the Regional Committee for Africa two days ago, I was visiting BoaneHealth Center in southern Mozambique, a country in the southeastern corner of Africa. It’s very, very far from the Ebola outbreak – more than 6,000 miles from the three countries devastated by the disease. However, much of what I read in ...

  • Ebola a ‘Shared’ African Problem, Yet Nations Look to Their Own Needs

    East African leaders today acknowledged that West Africa's Ebola outbreak is unprecedented in severity and scope, and too big for that region to handle by itself. Yet at a gathering in Kenya the main focus was on measures to keep the virus out of their nations.  “This outbreak has transcended beyond the scope of any one country...