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Jennifer Lazuta/ALIMA/Guinea
Surviving Ebola: Amadou's story

Amadou Camara is one of more than 1,100 Ebola survivors in Guinea. The 55-year-old father of six lives in the village of Koropara, some 90 kilometers from N’Zerekore, in Guinea’s southeastern forest region, where the first Ebola case was recorded in December 2013. Between March 23, 2014, when Guinea’s Ministry of Health declared the outbreak, and April 21, 2016, when the last survivor was discharged from the Ebola Treatment Center (ETC) in N’Zerekore, more than 3,811 people in Guinea were affected and 2,543 died. In 2014, ALIMA built and ran the ETC in N’Zerekore and treated 148 patients with Ebola. ALIMA provides both medical care and psycho-social support to some 120 patients who have recovered from the virus.

Amadou, who is now vice-president of the Ebola Survivors Network in N’Zerekore, says that even though many survivors consider themselves lucky to have beaten the deadly virus, their troubles are far from over.

“My wife was the first to get sick. She was vomiting and then got very weak. We tried to help her, but there was nothing we could do to save her. A few days after she died, I started to feel sick as well. Health agents told me I must come get tested for Ebola so they could save me. I was scared, but I went because I didn’t want my children to become orphans. The test came back positive for Ebola and I was transferred to ALIMA’s Ebola treatment center Gueckedou. I spent two weeks there.
There were many moments when I thought I would die. I felt so sick. I had no hope. Every day, everyone around me was dying. I didn’t think I’d ever return home but ALIMA’s doctor kept telling me to fight.

In the end, I started to get better and finally the doctors said I was cured. I was able to go home. That day, when they discharged me, I was so happy to leave there – I still have pictures from my homecoming.

Since recovering from Ebola, I often get sick. I need to see a doctor more often than ever before. I also have general aches and pains in my body. It makes working difficult. Before I used to make cement bricks to build houses. It takes much more time now, because I get tired easily and am in pain.

Luckily, ALIMA has been helping me with my medical issues. Not just me, but all the survivors in the area. They give us access to doctors and don’t charge us for care or medication. They even pay for our transport to the hospital, because many of us can’t afford it. So really it is a great help. If ALIMA left, it would be very difficult for us survivors. Besides medical care, the staff often come to check in on us. They talk to us and give us advice on how to manage the bad dreams and reduce sadness.

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