Ebola Virus Disease survivors now have a shoulder to cry on to handle problems, including recurring nightmare and community stigma.
In a thanksgiving gathering yesterday at the Monrovia City Hall, many of the survivors, from several communities in Monrovia, were introduced to the leaders of ‘Survivors’ Network’ headed by Patrick S. Farley as president, Josephine Karwah, program chair and mobilizing chairman Prince Dahnyea.
Organized with support from the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare, the network has full support of other humanitarian partners, including UNICEF, Lions International, BRAC and Save the Children, according to Janice L. Cooper of the Incident Management Team.
Representing over 1,328 survivors, the Survivors’ Network, supported by the Ministry of Health and the Incident Management Team, will ensure the collaboration of local and international efforts to handle their problems.
Problems identified included those affecting eyes, weakness, joint and back pains, impotence and generalized body pains.
Other stigmas associated with their experience, identified included trauma, fear, eviction from home, joblessness, separation and exile from community and family.
The network would establish a framework for short and long term medical, livelihood, economic and education needs, and president Farley said there would be regional groups throughout the country.
Representatives, including those of Unicef, Brac, and Lions International, promised to work with the Network to provide support for their needs.
Several survivors told their individual experiences when they came down with the Ebola Virus Disease and expressed gratitude to God who gave them another opportunity to live.
The survivors were encouraged to fill in a copy of the Ebola Survivor Network Membership Form that will provide their current day to day experiences, since they tested negative and were cleared for reintegration with their families and their communities.
The form requests information on what is affecting the individual survivor and the area an individual would be willing to work.
The establishment of the Survivors’ Network was supported by individuals, including network coordinator Meekie Glayweon, Claudius Mehtua, Vivian Cherue and Janice L. Cooper of the IMS/Ministry of Health & Social Welfare.