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Editorial

Ebola survivors need our help

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While the issue of ensuring all of the preventive measures against the deadly Ebola Virus Disease continues to remain paramount in Liberia’s fight against the disease, the welfare of orphans and other survivors must be at the core of the country’s post-Ebola reconstruction.

Already, it appears that either no attention or not much concern is being shown to these Liberians, who may have survived from Ebola at the mercy of the Almighty first and then, health workers.

As a testimony to the foregoing, a group of survivors attempting to unite all Ebola survivors in Liberia- the Ebola Survivors Network in Liberia, continues to attract the attention of the Government of Liberia, as well as well-meaning organizations to their well-being.

Under the difficult circumstances of dehumanization and discrimination in their respective communities since recovering from the deadly virus, the Ebola survivors continue to appeal for help at all levels from the government as an institution and President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. Perhaps, such assistance entails constructively engaging international partners in addition to the government’s own support.

The stigmatization characterizing their livelihood in their communities has resulted to souring relations between them and land lords from whom they rent houses- a situation that is detraumatizing them.

 It is no secret that most Ebola survivors are currently even not free to co-exist with other community dwellers; they are not allowed to use household utensils and items- and even if they did, such items would be immediately destroyed.

As a result, some survivors have decided to return to the Ebola Treatment Centres, especially at ELWA Three just to avoid their dehumanizing conditions.

Many had thought that upon discharging these survivors from the ETUs, the government, through the Ministry of Health, would have put in place programs to upkeep these Liberians and save them from the necessary discrimination, stigmatization and dehumaniization perpetrated against them by their compatriots. But as the situation speaks, conditions seem not to be right for these people.

It is in view of the foregoing that we join the Ebola Survivors Network of Liberia to appeal to President Sirleaf and her administration for help in all manner and forms so that these Ebola survivors and orphans can have a place in our society. 

We also extend such appeal to Liberia’s international partners to intervene.

They did not create or bring Ebola to Liberia; they were just unfortunately infected and they survived.

They need our help out of the trauma and dehumanization.

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