| Jul 29, 2015
Ebola survivors face the future
Kulako, an Ebola survivor in Sierra Leone
This week, the last remaining Ebola survivors in Liberia were released from the hospital. Prior to this most recent outbreak in late June – six cases with two fatalities – Liberia had not seen a case of Ebola since March. While some may see the recent resurgence as a setback, Liberia's rapid and effective response demonstrates the success of measures implemented by the national government, the international community, and NGOs operating in Liberia. It also shows how community mobilization and trust-building can reshape the course of an epidemic.
Liberia cannot officially be declared Ebola-free until next month (42 days from the last identified case), and it – along with its neighbors Sierra Leone and Guinea – has a long road ahead to rebuild its health system and economy. But Liberia's progress serves as an inspiring illustration of what collaboration and determination can accomplish in the face of human suffering.
With your support, BRAC has been working in both Liberia and Sierra Leone to rebuild health systems, empower disenfranchised teenage girls, provide counseling to survivors, and fuel economic growth through small loans and business development.
Since the outbreak in May 2014, Ebola has claimed 11,276 lives. Ebola leaves in its wake orphaned children, families torn apart, and stigmatized survivors. BRAC, along with other partners, are training mental health clinicians, community leaders, and staff to offer necessary psychosocial support to survivors and victims’ families. Group counseling sessions and individual meetings create open discussions to help families cope. To date, BRAC has counseled 702 orphans and has held 226 group sessions over three months and will grow to reach 68,582 people.
In some cases, patients in quarantine come home to find their families safe and Ebola-free. Unfortunately, many others return to devastating circumstances. Kulako, a woman from the town of Kumala, Sierra Leone, describes her experience:
“I had four children, and I caught Ebola from one of them. All of my children died.” Kulako survived the Ebola virus, but she is still recovering. With BRAC’s support, survivors like Kulako will begin to rebuild their lives.
Thank you for helping to stop the spread of Ebola and alleviate the physical and emotional pain suffered by the thousands affected. To view more survivor stories from the areas BRAC works in visit the link below.