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Ebola survivor shares his experience:

OCTOBER 7, 2014 By Patrick J. Kamara

 ‘Reject the myth, early report of signs could help save our lives’

‘Reject the myth, early report of signs could help save our lives’

An Ebola survivor, who lost his mother and brother to the dreadful disease at the treatment centre in Kenema, has in an exclusive interview shared his experience with Concord Times.

Speaking to our reporter yesterday, he alleged that poor record system and stealing of property belonging to Ebola victims, among others, are part of his unpleasant experience with the deadly disease.

The Ebola virus disease, which first surfaced in Kailahun District, east of the country, has killed over 500 and infected close to 2,000 in the past five months.

Isaac D. Sesay, a teacher at the Annie Walsh Memorial Secondary School, told Concord Times at his residence that he contracted the disease when he went to attend his father’s funeral in Makeni.

He said he was first admitted at a private hospital in Makeni, northern Sierra Leone, where he received treatment before health workers took blood samples from him, his mother, brother, sisters and his sister in-law for test at the Kenema treatment centre, at least 100 kilometers away.

The result later proved positive for all of them, he said, and they had to travel the long distance, uncertain about their fate.

“My brother eventually died as the ambulance arrived in Kenema, while my mother died four days after we arrived at the centre,” Sesay said in a pool of tears.

He continued that though there was enough medication at the treatment centre, the facility was still faced with serious challenges, with scores of patients – both male and female – kept in the same ward and that only few Sierra Leonean nurses were in attendance.

“Almost all the doctors I saw at the centre were foreigners. There were less than eight Sierra Leonean nurses present at the treatment centre. Most of them were inexperienced as they could not even perform basic medical check-ups. There was no special care for children whose mothers were taken to the centre,” he narrated.

He added that due to perpetual fear among nurses, the latter would leave the centre at night, with patients left to battle the virus and its symptoms. Such was responsible for the death of many patients, he said.

“Many of our colleagues are dying as a result of bleeding. All the nurses and doctors do leave us alone at night and when drips have finished there will be no one to remove it and the blood will flow again into the drip-line. Some patients, when upset, forced the drip out and the canola that remains on the arm causes the bleeding that resulted to some death,” he disclosed.

He debunked rumours making the rounds that when a patient is taken to the treatment centre nurses will inject them with the so-called ‘Ebola infection’, which some mischievously say is the cause of many deaths.

He called on all citizens to report early at the treatment centers when they show signs of the Ebola virus, as the “early you report, the greater chances you have for survive”.

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