Since surviving from the deadly Ebola disease months ago, survivors continue to face difficulties- livelihood and stigmatization, in their respective communities across Liberia.
One disturbing irony is the discrimination meted out against them by their own family members while being stigmatized by community dwellers.
Despite calls and appeals for discontinuation of such discrimination by Madam President, Liberian health authorities, as well as partners, among others, community members and some families continue to be relentless in discriminating against Ebola survivors.
Again, there’s been another serious intervention- this time from former United States President William Jefferson Clinton who, on Monday, May 4, 2015, called for an end to public stigmatization against Ebola survivors.
During his visit to Liberia, as well as his interaction with Liberia’s Ebola survivors Network, President Clinton indicated that he did not want the world to forget about the Ebola-hit countries, especially the plight of survivors in Monrovia, emphasizing that he had come to see how they can try to help.
“We want no discrimination; we have to pass the stage of stigma,” Bill Clinton asserted, urging the public and communities, where survivors once lived before being infected, to simply follow the public health rules announced by Liberian health authorities.
Even though Madam President indicated that the best option for now was for the Ebola survivors to get back into their communities and stay strong, she must also stay in touch with their plight because many at times she would mean very well, but those tasked with the responsibility to make solvable measures practical in the interest of the survivors failed to do so, and only engage in huge radio publicity to her listening taste. With the intervention of Mr. Clinton and Madam President’s assurance that the government will work with Survivors’ Coordinator Dr. Jennice Cooper and the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection in handling the issue of reintegration, we can only hope and pray that she will actually keep hands-on to ensure the livelihood and reintegration of survivors into their respective communities across the country.