Survival lessons for Congo in the aftershock of West Africa’s Ebola crisis

11 December, 2019

"Even my wife and my friends don’t like me. I should have been killed from Ebola."

Extracts below from The New Humanitarian and a comment from me. Full text: https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/news-feature/2019/05/16/survival-less...

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Although Alsény Touré managed to escape the West African Ebola epidemic, the shadow of the disease still lingers over his life...

When he was sick in the treatment centre, Touré’s family kept calling him, warning him to refuse the food and medicines provided. They said it was tainted with the disease – a common rumour during the epidemic as people tried to rationalise the death toll...

“I had no desire to live.” Alsény Touré, struggles with depression after surviving Ebola but losing his wife, mother, father, and so many others...

It got worse for Touré... he received a call from a friend who warned him that his wife’s family was plotting to kill him... “They said I was negotiating to sell my family, to sell the village,” Touré said of his in-laws. They were accusing him, as a suspicious survivor, of somehow cashing in on his wife’s death...

Surviving Ebola often means a social death, with some communities fearful that returning individuals may not be fully cured. In a survey in Guinea in 2014, 78 percent of respondents said they would not welcome an Ebola survivor back...

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Comment (NPW): The impact of misinformation on Ebola survivors is devastating. Are HIFA members aware of efforts to counteract this, perhaps through the mass media or with direct support to survivors?

Best wishes, Neil

Coordinator, HIFA Project on Information for Citizens, Parents and Children

http://www.hifa.org/projects/citizens-parents-and-children

Let's build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare information - Join HIFA: www.hifa.org

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org