On the eve before the WHO declares the Ebola outbreak over in Sierra Leone, hundreds of people gather downtown for a vigil and march in honour of our fallen healthcare worker heroes. As Ebola comes to an end, we remember those who have served their country and sacrificed their lives, and their families who still bear that loss.
During the first six months of the outbreak, healthcare workers were greatly affected by Ebola and many of them died as a result. In some places this led to a great sense of fear amongst both healthcare staff and patients alike and they were afraid to go to clinics and hospitals. Thankfully with time, training and supplies, health care workers gained confidence to treat patients again and likewise, patients and caregivers began to rebuild trust in the healthcare system. It will take time, but efforts will continue to be made during the next stage of recovery to restore that trust and empower communities to improve their health practices and health seeing behaviour.
This evening was a time to reflect. A time of gratefulness towards the healthcare workers who have sacrificed their lives in service to their country. A time to celebrate how far Sierra Leone has come and the prospects of the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone being declared over by morning. The evening was proceeded in true Sierra Leonean style with music, dancing, lights and laughter all the way from Campbell street to the country’s famous Cotton Tree. Spirits were high and the resilience of the Sierra Leonean people was clearly evident.
Many people have stepped up and fought this battle. Sadly, not all of them have made it to the end. They will be remembered and remain in our hearts forever.
Welbodi Partnership thanks the healthcare workers who have made great sacrifices to work during the Ebola epidemic. They have been brave and stood in the line of duty to ensure that health care in Sierra Leone continues to be available. Thank you to the staff of Ola During Children's Hospital, Princess Christian Maternity Hospital, Rokupa Government hospital and Jenner Wright Clinic for your perseverance.