A year after the World Health Organization declared Ebola an international health emergency, survivors are still suffering.
The Ebola Outbreak killed over 11,000 people in West Africa as well as affected 13,000 people that did not die from the virus in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, according to Voice of America.
Some survivors, like Yusuf Kabba, who caught the virus at the height of the outbreak last year, said that he is still suffering from what he experience firsthand.
“I was seeing horrible things,” Kabba said. “I was seeing corpses, seeing suffering, seeing people dying. …”
Kabba decided that in order to help fellow survivors, he would start the Sierra Leone Association of Ebola Survivors. Through the foundation, his goal is to support survivors as well as attempt to educate other people about the virus.
The head of WHO in Freetown, Dr. Andres Nordstrom, said that it is because of efforts like Kabba’s that are truly making a difference in containing the epidemic.
“There have been major challenges here with trust of people in communities, believing there are certain things you need to do [for Ebola prevention] and there is a possibility to survive,” Nordstrom said. “So just for people to see that you can survive has helped a lot.”
Nordstrom also added that it was of the upmost importance to arrange an international conference in order to learn more about the survivors and their post-Ebola issues.
Professionals across the board like scientists and health workers gathered in Sierra Leone to further discuss advances in clinical care, research and the storing of biological samples for use in further studies.
Kabba said, “The issue of Ebola is a global issue, and not just Sierra Leone.”
Survivors were able to share their challenges that they are still facing today including emotional trauma, physical pain and vision problems.