The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed over 1000 people and it is still spreading.
In spite of the efforts of volunteers, the virus cannot be contained and although an experimental drug was recently approved by the World Health Organization, there is no known cure for the virus and it has a fatality rate of 90%.
In spite of the odds, some people do recover, but most of them are shunned and not accepted back into society or even by their own family members.
Many people living in West Africa have not been educated on infectious diseases and do not believe that someone could recover from such a deadly illness.
— Hindustan Times (@htTweets) August 13, 2014
Even though a person may no longer have symptoms or test positive for the disease, many people still think they could pass it to others and prefer to avoid the person to avoid catching it.
Healthcare workers hoped that the people who managed to recover from the disease would show others that they too can survive Ebola and motivate them to get treatment. Unfortunately, many of the people who have recovered don’t have happy stories to share.
One 26-year-old woman claims that her own boyfriend won’t even talk to her because she was once infected with Ebola.
“Ebola has ruined my life even though I am cured,” she said. “No one wants to spend a minute in my company for fear of being contaminated.”
— AFP Africa (@AFPAfrica) August 13, 2014
A 20-year-old man has a similar story and said that he was scared to seek treatment for the deadly disease at first, but is happy that he finally did.
“When I became sick, I was scared to go to hospital, I hid from my family, from health workers. After four days I couldn’t hide anymore, I was too sick. An Ebola ambulance collected me and took me to the hospital,” he recalled.
Volunteers are working to educate the people living in West Africa and other areas where the virus has spread. They hope that by educating them on how diseases are spread and how someone can recover from an illness, they will help people be more understanding of those who have been cured and prevent more people from being shunned.
Image via Wikimedia Commons