When Ebola came calling: How communities in Sierra Leone faced the challenge

November 2014

When Ebola first swept through Port Loko District, Sierra Leone the rash of sudden inexplicable deaths was so shocking local people explained it as "a witch plane crash."

Ibrahim Suri Kamara helps one of his daughters, sick with Ebola, to a drink, Port Loko, Sierra Leoone, 2014.
WHO/C. Black

But as husbands, wives, aunts, uncles and children began to sicken and die they realized this was not a supernatural event but something very human that would take human actions to reverse.

With no beds in hospitals and local clinics so overwhelmed that desperately ill people were lying outside on balconies, local leaders, with the support of WHO, began racing to set up community care centres.

The first of these opened on November 3. Here in pictures is the story of what they did.

Read the photo story

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