[ View the story "Cheating death: Life after Ebola" on Storify] Cheating death: Life after Ebola Patients open up about surviving Ebola and the challenges they still face.
The Stream· Tue, May 19 2015 18:43:35
Liberia broke into celebration this month, when the World Health Organization (WHO)
it Ebola-free. The country, along with Sierra Leone and Guinea, are the epicenter of the largest outbreak in history. In the past year, 26,724 “confirmed, probable and suspected” cases were
, resulting in more than 11,000 deaths.
WHO declares Liberia Ebola-freeAl Jazeera English
The virus is slowing down in Guinea and Sierra Leone, with fewer than 10 cases reported in the last month. Despite the progress, WHO is warning the virus "will not go quietly." Evidence
the virus can be sexually transmitted for at least 82 days after initial symptoms occur. And WHO has
a 90-day period of "heightened surveillance" as a precautionary measure.
40 per cent
of recovering patients have described blurred vision, eye pain and inflammation; symptoms that were
not always apparent
in previous outbreaks. In the
, Dr Ian Crozier, a Stream guest, was found to have an Ebola infection in one eye, something that had never before been documented.
@ElleDubG @AJStream @mmbilal - It is Post Ebola Syndrome! Cf's r deteriorating vision, body aches, chest pain, headaches and fatigue.Ambili Aravind
Many patients remain resilient. In the video below, nurse Fatima Kamara, an Ebola survivor and Stream guest, describes her determination to help others infected with Ebola. She is among 861 health workers who have contracted the virus. Nearly 500 of them have died, according to WHO.
Nursing a Nation: Ebola Survivor Fatima Kamara's Unwavering Devotion to Her "True Calling"#ISurvivedEbola
After treatment, many Ebola survivors return to destroyed homes and property, hostility and unemployment. Ninety-six per cent of the general population in Sierra Leone
"discriminatory attitudes" toward those with Ebola exposure.
One community member in Liberia said he supports efforts to combat the stigma
both survivors and their relatives.
@AJStream We are doing community awareness through skits, dramatizing the messages, town hall meetings, peer education and materialsJoe P. Sumo
@AJStream in some communities, they are seen as Nat'l heroes whilst others seem them as mode of transmission for the virus.Joe P. Sumo
$4.3 billion was spent on the international response to Ebola. The focus on defeating the disease has left survivors and orphans with very little support. At least 16,600 children have lost one parent or caregiver to Ebola.
Douda Fullah talks about losing several family members to Ebolamobile uploads
with depression, financial hardship and health problems has highlighted the need for assistance programmes. Online, many commented on the challenges and importance of long-term care:
@AJStream so, where there has been outreach dealing with the direct consequences of the disease, the focus now needs to shift to supportMatt Tyrer
@ElleDubG @AJStream State health institutions must equally prioritize continuing care for survivors. Vital for overall public healthjoseph amenaghawon
Moving forward we know that the sustainable solution is in strengthening health systems in West Africa. #AJStreamEbola Alert