Health

Ebola Survivors in Liberia Are Symbols of Hope and Help

This Oct. 7, 2013 photo provided by Jeremy Writebol show his mother, Nancy Writebol, with children in Liberia. Writebol is one of two Americans working for a missionary group in Liberia that have been diagnosed with Ebola. Plans are underway to bring back the two Americans from Africa for treatment. (AP Photo/Courtesy Jeremy Writebol)
This Oct. 7, 2013 photo provided by Jeremy Writebol show his mother, Nancy Writebol, with children in Liberia. Writebol is one of two Americans working for a missionary group in Liberia that have been diagnosed with Ebola. Plans are underway to bring back the two Americans from Africa for treatment. (AP Photo/Courtesy Jeremy Writebol)

 

DAKAR, Oct 22 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Ebola survivors in Liberia are quickly becoming an important part of the fight against the deadly virus that has killed more than 4,500 people in West Africa since being detected in the region in March.

Once rejected by their communities, survivors are now being seen as part of the solution as scientists try to find a way to use the antibodies in their blood to help treat victims.

Sheldon Yett, Country Director for the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) in Liberia, said survivors were still stigmatised, but people were starting to see them as a real sign of hope and help.

In the capital Monrovia, Ebola survivors are helping in Liberia’s first state-run interim care centre for Ebola orphans. There are some 3,700 Ebola orphans in the region today, according to UNICEF.

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