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Ebola survivors narrate ordeal

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The New Dawn Liberia The New Dawn LiberiaTwo Ebola survivors in Kakata, Margibi County have been narrating to The NewDawn how they got infected with the virus and the excruciating experience that accompanied their nightmare.

Moses Kerkula, Administrator of the City Clinic in Kakata, explained that he came in contact with the virus while working at City Clinic in early August 2014. He said after he took sick, his daughter took him to the clinic for treatment, but unfortunately he was admitted on the same bed where an Ebola patient had earlier been placed, but the clinic staff did not change the bed sheet. 

Continuing, Mr. Kerkula said, when he was tested, doctors said he had Typhoid so he spent the entire day at the clinic before subsequently he was taken home.

He said few days after, he started showing signs and symptoms of the Ebola Virus and so his younger daughter Fatu Kerkula, who is a Nurse, noticed it was Ebola and she decided to treat him at home.

According to him, she treated him for 21 days at home, but while in the process, his oldest daughter Genevie Kerkula, his wife Victoria Kerkula and his nephew also came down with the virus.

Mr. Kerkula added that his daughter Fatu Kerkula observed people treating Ebola patients on television wearing PPEs and that was how she started using the preventive measure to treat her family, wearing black plastic bags as gloves and other materials. 

He said she placed the entire family in the house and administered medications for 21 days, but the sickness became worse so she made contacts and they were transferred from Kakata to the JFK Medical Hospital on18 August 2014, but there was no space so they went to the ELWA Hospital where doctors admitted them and he stayed there for seven (7) days and was subsequently discharged, leaving his wife and daughter at ELWA for 19 days, but his nephew eventually passed.

Mr. Kerkula said when he came home, his family accepted him home, but community residents avoided him.

The survivor said he and the family ate together, and family members were always by him, encouraging him so he was not stigmatized.

Moses said doctors advised him to abstain from sex for three (3) months, but he abstained for ix (6) months. He called on fellow Ebola survivors across the country to be like him, and by adhering all preventive measures prescribed by the Ministry of Health.

For her part, Genevie Kerkula, oldest daughter of Moses, who also survived the virus, said she was got infected while caring for her father, Moses Kerkula, who had  first come down with the virus.

 Genevie described the Ebola sickness as very bad; narrating that she defecated and urinated on herself due to extreme weakness.

According her, she felt very bad because she lost most of her friends, but after coming out of the ETU, people always comforted her.

Genevie also said since she came from the ETU, she always experience pains in her legs, lasting for two to three days.

She however, thanked God for experiencing only pain in her body, because most of her friends (survivors) according to her, complain of so many illnesses.

By Bridgett Milton

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