Sierra Leone is at the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak. But many people there don’t think the virus is real. Others are so frightened by Ebola that they’re afraid to take sick relatives to clinics.
This is fascinating, and a symptom of oppression and constant upheaval in certain places on the continent of Africa..
So many in the hot spot for Ebola don’t think it even exists..While workers, government officials, and military personnel all drive around in cars with loudspeakers—cars that feature images of people looking like zombies, vomiting—some listening are ignoring.. Ignorance is what may be causing the virus to spread faster and further than ever before in recorded history of Ebola.
NPR reports on some of the Ebola deniers:
Opinions are mixed, but there’s a strong dose of Ebola deniers— those who don’t believe the virus exists at all. Zainab Koroma, a street hawker, is adamant it isn’t real.
"I do not believe Ebola exists because none of my family members has been affected by it," she says. "When you get sick of cholera, they say it is Ebola. When your body temperature rises, they say it is Ebola. So I honestly don’t believe Ebola exists. There could be a lot of other diseases killing people."
That’s one of the challenges facing Sierra Leone — trying to convince the nation that “Ebola is real, Ebola is here, and Ebola kills,” as one poster reads. Some people do survive, if they receive medical care early, as soon as they fall sick.
The case of 32-year-old Saudata Koroma transfixed the nation late last month. She was brought to a faded blue government hospital in Freetown, feeling unwell, and was admitted.
"Yes, and we were suspicious that she had Ebola, and she was put in isolation," says Amadu Sesay, the doctor in charge of the hospital. "The tests proved she had Ebola. Prior to the arrival of the test results, the relatives of the patient stormed the facility. They stormed this hospital and took the patient away."
When his staff learned Koroma had Ebola, Sesay says, they had to track her down. But it took some time. “She was put in an ambulance, but unfortunately on the way to [an Ebola clinic in] Kailahun, she died,” he says.
And with that epic account, more infections were spread due to the denial of the disease..
The world may spin their eyes at tales of denials of a deadly virus, but consider some facts: You may live in a nation absent these abuses:
- Harsh conditions and treatment in jails
- Female genital mutilation, forcibly done
- Widespread government corruption
- Rampant discrimination from the government based off of sexual preference
- Child abuse and trafficking, with high officials involved
- Forced child labor
- And this: A civil war that actually killed 25 times as many people as the Kosovo war did.. During wartime, children were often forced into the military and women were raped in brutal attacks.
All of that while the world ignored, and then Sierra Leone was put on the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2012.
So doubt that Ebola exists? Common sense would tell someone it’s real.. But live in a nation where the citizenry has been oppressed by a tyrannical government, and it’s easy to see why disbelief in reality is rampant.