It is just over one year since Sierra Leone was declared officially Ebola free. Over the course of the outbreak there were over 14,000 suspected cases of the disease throughout the country. Almost 4,000 people died as a result. In its aftermath, Concern has been helping people to rebuild their lives.
Kadiatu Conteh is an Ebola survivor. She contracted the disease, but remarkably, she survived it. You might be tempted to call her one of the lucky ones, but the outbreak had heart-breaking consequences for her. She lost her two year old baby girl, along with every single member of her immediate family – her mother, her father, all of her brothers and her sister. Twelve lives lost in total. She is the only one left.
Kadiatu cries softly as she recalls learning about her family’s fate. The medical staff who nursed her back to health waited until she was being discharged before breaking the devastating news to her. They were worried about the effects it might have on her recovery if they told her any sooner. They cried as they told her.
She says that at first, she didn’t want to continue living.