| Dec 14, 2016
The deaths of Kadiatu’s family members occurred during the height of Liberia’s Ebola epidemic of 2014 - but the pain of her loss is still fresh. Her own survival seems
miraculous. But what’s to prevent another Ebola epidemic from occurring in her
community? Find out.
Kadiatu’s story began in 2014 when her husband took care of a community member
infected with Ebola in the area of Grand Cape Mount, Liberia. With little knowledge of
how the virus spread, Kadiatu then in turn cared for her husband when he became ill.
There were many myths about Ebola during the epidemic. A common misconception
was that hospitals cause Ebola, and that if a person developed the disease it was better
to stay home. This misinformation helped the disease spread like wildfire.
While caring for her sick husband, Kadiatu heard a message on the radio - a
message from Medical Teams International. The message explained that Ebola
spreads when people come into close contact with those who had been infected. Sick
patients must travel to hospitals, where they could be isolated and treated.
After hearing the information, Kadiatu called an ambulance and her husband was taken
to the hospital. Three days later, Kadiatu and her 2-year-old daughter began feeling
sick and exhibiting signs of Ebola. She worried about her health, the health of her 2-
year-old, and the health of her unborn baby - Kadiatu was in the late stages of
Once again, she called the ambulance - this time for Kadiatu and her daughter. They briefly visited her husband before seeking treatment themselves. Tragically, it would be the last time Kadiatu saw him - he died just a few days later.
Doctors confirmed a diagnosis of Ebola for Kadiatu and her daughter. The disease
advanced rapidly and her 2-year-old daughter died. Kadiatu miscarried during her own
illness. The weight of her sadness is unimaginable. For a time, Kadiatu waited for
death, and even welcomed it.
Powerfully, what Kadiatu remembers about this time is that people prayed for her.
gave her hope and courage, and along with her care in the hospital - she miraculously
Thanks to you, Medical Teams International was present in Liberia prior to the Ebola
epidemic. As a result, Medical Teams International was able to act as a first responder
during the crisis. Outreach systems already in place made it possible to help dispel Ebola
misconceptions during the epidemic - and prevent further deaths.
During the epidemic of 2014-2015, Liberia had 3,000 confirmed cases of Ebola, and
7,400 suspected or probable cases. Many led to tragedies like Kadiatu’s.
New, isolated cases of Ebola continue to occur in Liberia. The virus is still active and
permanent eradication is nearly impossible. But thanks to your support, progress has
Communities have been educated on how to handle new cases, and prevent future
epidemics. World Health Organization reports that community education programs are
the single most effective way to prevent Ebola. Your support of Medical Teams
International makes these programs possible. Community outreach and training provides
communities in Liberia with the education and tools to prevent and contain future cases
of the deadly disease.
Kadiatu lost so much. She is thankful for the resources helping to strengthen health
systems in the communities hardest hit by the Ebola crisis. Communities throughout
Liberia are empowered with the education on how to stop the disease. The message
has been received - as a result the people of Liberia are healthier and communities