Written by: Ben B. Togbah, Jr., Margibi County
Kakata, Margibi County – After taking the lives of over 4000 Liberians the Ebola virus disease has left hundreds of survivors with many perplexing health complications.
Speaking to Local Voices Liberia in Margibi County, the president of the Ebola survivor’s network in Margibi County, Madam Helena Henry has cautioned her fellow survivors to be hopeful and keep praying as the natural history study on Ebola has not been completed.
A clinical research known as PREVAIL organized by Liberia and the United States launched a study of people in Liberia who have survived the Ebola virus disease (EVD) within the past two years.
The study seeks to better understand the long-term health consequences of EVD, determine if survivors develop immunity that will protect them from future Ebola infection amongst others. Approximately 7,500 people, including 1,500 people of any age who survived EVD and 6,000 of their close contacts have been involved with the study.
The WHO’s advice is that all male survivors should be tested three months after the onset of symptoms and then monthly until they know they have no risk of passing on the virus.
Meanwhile, Madam Henry is confident that scientists tirelessly efforts to find solutions to the many health problems affecting survivors will be actualized.
She therefore praised the Government of Liberia and partners including the World Health Organization, the Red Cross, and UNICEF for their tremendous effort in seeking the wellbeing of Ebola survivors in Margibi County.
At the same time an Ebola survivor, Pauline Johnson said after successfully winning the battle against Ebola she is experiencing health problems including joint pain, headache and loss of appetite.
Recalling how she contracted the virus, Miss Johnson said as a caretaker of her mother – who also survived the virus – she contracted the Ebola virus after eating her sick mother remaining food especially with a spoon already used by mom without having it disinfected. Johnson said after several days she showed signs and symptoms of the virus and was later taken to the ELWA Ebola treatment unit where she recovered.
But she has since then suffered health complications for the past six months.