Ee
E = Ebola. People being able to read and write slows the spread of infectious diseases like Ebola. Explore the Alphabet of Illiteracy

...is for Ebola

Reading and writing can help stop the spread of infectious diseases. During the 2015 Ebola outbreak, the World Health Organisation operatives in West Africa found illiteracy to be one of the major barriers to educating people on how to contain the disease. Literacy can help change this.

The Globalist (2014)

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In the face of the largest Ebola outbreak ever, Doctors of the World UK set up an Ebola Treatment Centre in Sierra Leone to combat the virus on the front lines. Because literacy rates were so low, they needed to work closely with local volunteers and communities to educate them about Ebola and safe health procedures. Now that Sierra Leone has been declared Ebola-free, the focus must be both on rebuilding health systems and improving literacy and health education, ensuring that an epidemic of this scale never happens again.

In the face of the largest Ebola outbreak ever, Doctors of the World UK set up an Ebola Treatment Centre in Sierra Leone to combat the virus on the front lines. Because literacy rates were so low, they needed to work closely with local volunteers and communities to educate them about Ebola and safe health procedures. Now that Sierra Leone has been declared Ebola-free, the focus must be both on rebuilding health systems and improving literacy and health education, ensuring that an epidemic of this scale never happens again.

Lanphia lives in the Moyamba district, Sierra Leone. His mother died when he was still a boy, leaving his father as the sole supporter of Lanphia and his four siblings.

Five years later the Ebola epidemic began.

In the months after the outbreak, Lanphia, his father and his two brothers all contracted Ebola. After being treated for Ebola, he was the only one to survive.

As a medical student, he decided that he wanted to help people who were suffering from Ebola. He applied to work at the treatment center, and was brought on as a health worker.

Doctors of the World taught him basic medical practice and etiquette so he could effectively relay information to patients who may not understand what was happening.

“I was treating people I knew, and giving hope to people that also knew me, and knew that I have been through Ebola. So I was using that also to talk to them, to give them hope that if they eat and drink a lot of water, then they would survive also, like me.”

Along with feeding and giving water to the infected, Lanphia also helped the patients, reassuring them about the possibility of survival, and counseling them about family and loved ones who had already passed.

Before his father died, he wanted to build a hut where the family could gather and discuss family affairs. Now that Lanphia is the man of the house, he has decided to complete what his father had imagined. He spends his free time building this meeting hut for his family.

Lanphia continues working with Doctors of the World in the aftermath, helping to stabilize the healthcare system in Sierra Leone, as well as continuing with his education.

He plans to write a book about his experiences so that others can learn.

“I want to talk more about ensuring survivors are allowed back in the community, about the reintegration process, people must accept us, there needs to be more education about it. I want to encourage other survivors to join the fight in their own little way.”

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Doctors of the World UK provides healthcare to vulnerable people, wherever we're needed most.
Education is key to empowerment... The high rates of illiteracy create challenges for the effective delivery of health education and promotion activities.
Prof. John Wright
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