She survived civil war and Ebola. Now Mariatu is determined to help others
A country ravaged by Ebola
3,900 deaths|Hospitals overwhelmed|Ebola stigma
In 2014, the worst outbreak of Ebola in history hit Sierra Leone hard and thousands have died from the virus. The already weak health system could not cope with the impact of the outbreak.
A decade-long civil war which ended in 2002 has left Sierra Leone’s 5.4 million people among the poorest in Africa. Although the country has achieved peace in recent years, poverty and unemployment remain massive challenges and Sierra Leone remains bottom of the UN’s league for human development.
Vaccinations & disease: International Medical Corps is one of only a handful of international NGOs to be treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone. We are currently operating three Ebola Treatment Centres (ETCs) in the country, which provide not only isolation and care for Ebola patients, but also psychosocial support which can be a key element in recovery. We also provide training for local and international staff including a training centre in the town of Lunsar, to expand the pool of health workers able to manage and work in ETCs. Our psychosocial experts are reaching out to the local community to discuss Ebola myths and the importance of seeking medical attention if ill.
Training: More than 90 per cent of staff at our Lunsar ETC are Sierra Leoneans and the centre was constructed entirely by local contractors and builders, providing work opportunities for hundreds of people whose jobs were lost by the health crisis. We worked with Public Health England to staff a laboratory which can test for the virus within hours and international experts continue to work alongside national staff in our treatment centres.
We are committed to helping end the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, and ensuring the health system is strengthened to make sure Ebola cannot return and cause such devastation again. With our international and local partners, International Medical Corps are working hard to help rebuild the health system stronger, so that people can get treatment for non-Ebola related health issues.
Explore Sierra Leone
Our impact and work
Ebola: toilet cleaners, gravediggers and survivors tell their story – in pictures
Ebola survivors in Sierra Leone and Liberia tell their stories through photography, showing how the disease spread through families and the devastation it left behind