Sierra Leone Development/Reifel

February 2015 – infection rates are going down but great concern is there for survivors’ well being, with health issues and stigmatization of orphaned children.

January 2015 – Early this month we heard a commotion next door- a 36 yr old woman had died, leaving two children. She had been treated earlier in the week and did not have Ebola but hours after the initial wailing I noticed that there was SILENCE. We thought that everyone had dispersed. When I passed the house to take an okada into town I was surprised by the fact that everyone was still there. One group of men stood by the side of the road and a group of women sat by the common cooking shelter a few yards away. Apart from the neighbor on the phone, NO one spoke. I expressed my sympathy but felt at a loss for words myself. While I was gone Elmer helped them get a local number for the burial team and the ambulance took her away, where she was buried with six others who did not die from Ebola. Some were children. The pall of silence seemed to be from the fact that even though we know it’s not Ebola, nothing is the same right now. No washing the body, and none of the normal rituals that involve most traditional burial practices.