On November 07th, 2015 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Sierra Leone Ebola- free. 42 days since the last patient could be released from the Ebola treatment center the people of the sorely afflicted country finally can breathe a sigh of relief. Intense hygienic controls, ban on gatherings and lockout periods were ended. “ People can move around freely, go out and celebrate” our team member Dennis Wellmann reports, who takes care of our street kids project in the capital of Freetown. “Markets are full, streets are crowded from people, cars and motorbikes. The market sellers offer more goods than ever. The people are more than happy to return to their normal style of living.”
You can hardly notice that these people just survived one of the hardest epidemics of the last decades. Sierra Leone was hit most by the world’s biggest Ebola epidemic. Almost half of infections occurred here and about 4000 people died from the virus, including more than 250 medical doctors. The anyway ailing medical system broke down totally in these times, hospitals were unable to operate and patients remained untreated.
For one year Cap Anamur supported the people with an isolation ward, preventive hygienic measures and with a project for Ebola- orphans. And as early as July, month before the epidemic officially was declared over, we started to re-build the medical infrastructure. The start took place in Makeni, a province capital in the heart of the country. In the local district hospital 16 medical doctors lost their lives because of Ebola. The local team is not only facing this human tragedy but also the loss of medical knowhow is a challenge.
All the more we appreciate that local colleagues well accepted our education projects and the team looks positively forward despite the setbacks of the previous month. Commonly we will put the hospital in Makemi into financial independence in the years to come.