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Total Cost (EUR): 912 363
EU contracted amount (EUR): 640 000
Duration: August 2015 - December 2015
Implementing organisation: ALLIANCE FOR INTERNATIONAL MEDICALACTION ASSOCIATION
Funding Instrument: European Development Fund (EDF)
Benefitting zone: West Africa Region
When I see someone leaving the Centre cured of the disease, I am proud in the knowledge that I played a part in helping them recover.
The EU has been at the forefront of international efforts since the very beginning of the Ebola epidemic, the largest and most complex of its kind ever experienced, contributing €1.2 billion and other resources towards fighting the disease.
An Ebola survivor sets out to serve his community
In October 2014, 26-year-old Sâa Yawo Koumassadouno, also known as ‘Papus’, was admitted to the Ebola treatment centre (CTE) in the town of Guéckédou in the Guinée Forestière region of Guinea, and informed that he had tested positive for Ebola.
The staff of the CTE, a centre run by Médecins Sans Frontières and financed by the European Union, took meticulous care of Papus. He ate well, drank water regularly, took his medicine and had regular visits from his loved ones. 13 days after being admitted to the Centre, the results of his third laboratory test came through, showing that he was completely cured.
"When they told me, I cried", he recalls, visibly moved, although he describes how his joy at having regained his health was tempered by sadness at losing six relatives and several friends to Ebola.
Upon his return to N'Zérékoré, capital of the region and another Ebola hot spot, Papus devoted all his energy to combating the disease."I told myself that it would be selfish to stay at home and do nothing".
With EU support, the NGO ALIMA (Alliance for International Medical Action) is running a treatment centre in the village of Loulé, 15 minutes from N'Zérékoré. Papus attended the information sessions, and quashed destructive rumours about the waste incinerator at the Ebola treatment centre, managing to convince even the most sceptical village residents that it was not a crematorium furnace and that nobody would come and steal patients’ organs and blood. A survivor’s word carries considerable weight. - all the more so in Papus’s case, seeing as he was fortunate enough to have never been stigmatised by his community.
Working as a Health Promoter for ALIMA, Papus has raised awareness of Ebola in local radio broadcasts, churches and public places. He says he is thrilled to help his community and Guinea more generally to defeat the Ebola epidemic. He is also happy to be able to provide some modest support for the rest of his family, thanks to the income he receives from ALIMA.
Having been trained as a lab assistant, Papus’ dream is to enrol in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Conakry and continue his studies. In the meantime, he is devoting himself to the fight against Ebola.