Ebola is often spread through the act of kindness and through love. A disproportionate number of women have died from or are affected by Ebola. This is often because they traditionally care for the sick. These women provide snapshots into their lives; the impact of Ebola on maternal health, the economy and education in Sierra Leone.
‘There are a lot of problems that us woman are experiencing; some of us have lost our jobs, others have lost their husbands, their children and their loved ones. Women run the homes, some of us have no income so we can no longer help with domestic affairs or our children. The economy is so bad, very very bad. Women’s businesses have collapsed. We tell them all is not lost, [and we] hope and pray everything will be ok.’ Deborah Johnson, Christian Aid Psychosocial Trainer, Freetown
‘More women than men have been affected because we care for the family when they are sick. At first I worked as a trader, selling lappa [local fabric] and shoes… I don’t work now and I have no money to buy supplies. My children haven’t started going to school as I have no money.’ Mariatu Kamara, single mother, Tonkolili district
‘My sister got Ebola four months ago at her private classes. Schools were closed because of Ebola and she was preparing for her exams. She was very clever. We waited four days then they told us she had passed away.’ Serenusa Mara, a student, Freetown