Providing Care for Women and Children During the West African Ebola Epidemic: A Volunteer Physician’s Experiences in Makeni, Sierra Leone
I spent 6 months working as a medical doctor in Sierra Leone during the West African Ebola Outbreak. As the months passed, I witnessed much suffering and sadness. I comforted family members as they watched their loved ones dying. I fought the unimaginable heat of our Personal Protective Equipment as I tried to provide what treatment and care I could for patients. I watched a grandfather as he buried his 4-year-old daughter; a service over in a matter of seconds as a tiny white bag was lowered into the dirt. However, there were moments of joy in among the sadness. I witnessed the first handprint on our survivor wall, and I danced and sang through many discharge ceremonies. I was privileged to see our survivor wall grow as handprints were added. Despite everything that happened at the Treatment Centre, I saw unimaginable resilience and kindness. All of the work I did was with a truly inspiring team of dedicated national and international staff; all striving to help those affected by Ebola.
KeywordsEbola virus disease Ebola Makeni Sierra Leone Ebola treatment centre Volunteer physician Personal protective equipment Training Bombali District International response Pregnancy Maternal mortality Infant mortality Ebola orphans Survivors Pediatric care Volunteerism
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