New Programs Aim to Help Ebola Survivors

After surviving Ebola, survivors start their lives with nothing. The survivors in West Africa are often
avoided by their communities because of the stigma that sticks with the virus. Ebola survivors have very
few possessions because most of their belongings were destroyed to prevent the virus from spreading.

Several international organizations are working to help Ebola survivors in making their transition back
to their communities. These organizations provide them with bedding and basic items. Also, the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention launched several campaigns to speak with the community members
to minimize the stigma.

Ebola survivors are thought to be immune to the strain of the virus causing the recent outbreak. Many
of the survivors work as caregivers for the current Ebola patients.

Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, said in a statement that there’s nothing more about the resilience
of the human spirit than Ebola survivors. They have become role models for their communities. These
survivors can show their communities that Ebola can be defeated. They can also provide care, support
and inspiration for people who are stricken by Ebola virus.

Based on the data from CDC, around 30 to 40 percent of people who were infected with Ebola in West
Africa survived Ebola. There are now thousands of Ebola survivors in West Africa. According to the new
CDC report, over 1,100 people in Sierra Leone have survived Ebola as of December 6. However, ninety
six percent of the general population reported a discriminatory attitude toward Ebola patients and

The Sierra Leone government, together with the CDC and other international organizations, have
formed a group to support Ebola survivors. The Ebola survivors received a packet that includes clothing,
bedding and other basic items, as well as cash.

The survivors also received help from counselors. These counselors escorted the survivors back to their
communities and speak with their communities about the importance of acceptance.

In Liberia, Firestone Liberia Inc., a rubber tree plantation company, has developed a program to help
Ebola survivors. Counselors talk to Ebola survivors before they are escorted back to their communities.
Also, a team of counselors speak with the neighbors of the survivor and emphasizes that the Ebola
survivors are no longer sick with the virus.

Furthermore, reintegration team checks up on the Ebola survivors weekly for 3 months to provide
psychological and social support. An effective and well-coordinated reintegration programs help stop
the spread of Ebola and heal the communities.

On December 12, the CDC journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published two reports about
the efforts to provide support to Ebola survivors.