Turning the page on Ebola

Topics: West Africa Ebola Virus, Africa
March 24, 2016

Ebola survivor Kadiatu Bangura Two years after it began, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has finally ended. Today, communities are healing, families are coming back together, and life is slowly returning to normal.     

11-year-old Kadiatu Bangura was severely ill when she arrived at the Red Cross Ebola treatment centre in Kenema, Sierra Leone.

She was alone and frightened, separated from her family. Red Cross staff took Kadiatu under their care, making her as comfortable as possible.  

“They gave me food but I couldn’t eat,” says Kadiatu, quietly. “I was feeling bad in my stomach. My neck was aching, and I was also thinking about my mother.”

Over the next two weeks, her strength slowly began to return.

“I started feeling better, I was playing,” says Kadiatu. “They brought me balloons and paper and crayons, and some peanuts because I really like them.”

After two tests came back negative, Kadiatu was given the good news: she was free of Ebola and could go home.

It was a happy moment, but her life will never be the same. Ebola has taken a toll on her family – like thousands of others in Sierra Leone.      

With the outbreak now over, the Red Cross is working to help survivors and their families overcome the traumatic experience and rebuild their lives.   

The road to recovery will not be easy for Kadiatu and her family. But for now, the young girl is focusing on improving her grades. Her favourite subject is math. She wants to make her father proud in the future.  

“I want to help people,” says Kadiatu. “I want to be a lawyer.”

And for those at the Red Cross treatment centre who helped her, she has a special message:

“I want to thank them for what they did for me. Because if not for them, I would never have seen my mother again.”

For more information on the end of the Ebola outbreak, please read our Donor Update.