“We Need Medical Attention”

Emma Smith, founder of the Emma Smith Recovery Life Foundation interviewing Henry D. Tony, former VP of the Ebola Survivor Network.

Ebola Survivors Network ex-vice president pleads

The deadly Ebola may have been combated and eliminated two years ago from Liberia, but survivors continue to complain of lack of medical attention.

These Ebola survivors who include nurses to grave diggers and contact tracers may have their lives back, but for most, theirs are not the same lives they were used to having, taking into consideration their current health problems.

Those serious health problems include pressure rising in the eyes that affect survivor’s vision and joint pains and weakness.

Henry D.Tony, an Ebola survivor and former vice president of Ebola Survivors Network, said that survivors are not getting proper medical attention.

“Although we have been living our lives the best way we can, we are not still getting the needed medical attention when it comes to our health issues. When we go to public health facilities in the country, we get little attention and worse of all, our medications have to be prescribed. These prescribed drugs required by the hospitals are very expensive such that most of the survivors cannot afford their medication. This situation is very bad for most of the survivors, especially the kind of medical complication they have developed,” Tony said.

He said many of the survivors do not know yet if their Ebola side effects are only temporary or not, as doctors cannot tell them the exact story of their status.

Tony added, “We need to know the severity of our medical complications. And this can only happen when we are receiving quality medical attention. “

He said survivors need more than simply food and money, because they are suffering from trauma and deep emotional pain and need psychological support right now.

“With stigmatization decreasing, the issues of trauma and depression cannot be underestimated among the survivors. Most survivors have not received psycho-social counseling, which they need now more than ever before,” he said.

Tony lauded PREVAIL for providing survivors with some medical support, but said it needs to double the efforts and get involved in counseling.

Stories of survivors like Tony and many others will be unearthed every week on the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) funded Emma Smith Reality Show that is intended to for survivors to highlight their problems so that government, policy and  philanthropic interventions will be stimulated to address the complaints.


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