Nyamacoro Sarata Sillah is a head nurse administrator at the International Medical Corps Ebola Treatment Center in Lunsar, Sierra Leone. She returned from the UK during the ebola outbreak to serve knowing full well that she was putting her life in harm’s way, she is one of a handful of Sierra Leonean medical professionals from the diaspora who came home and refused to sit on the sidelines. Her story is featured in the current issue of GoWoman Magazine where she shares her story of life at the ebola frontline.
I am involved in running this Ebola Treatment Center. I have got lots of titles; some call me, charge nurse, lead nurse, medical coordinator nurse, you name it.
I feel that my role is to go right in, and leave no stone unturned. I support Audrey our site director; I support our Medical Director Vanessa, and everybody else. I could even assist the cook, the cleaner, the pharmacist; I get into anything that makes the centre run smoothly.
The toughest part, is when people die. It is not easy to see people die. Some die horrible deaths. Ebola is not an easy thing to take care of, especially here in Sierra Leone. Even though a lot of Ebola patients get better, a lot more deaths are grave; they come in very sick and there’s nothing we could do to help them. Young people of 18-19 years of age die.
The other day, a 4 year old boy was admitted here. He came in with four other family members who were all positive.
It was very sad, because they tried their best. They had been in quarantine for a while. But the boy died, his sister is still with us though. And the pregnant women who come in here die with their unborn babies.
The lesson to be learnt from all this is that we must never forget this happened. We have learnt a lot of lessons, like keeping good hygiene conditions within our communities, our homes, and our day-to-day lives. We must ensure we do something as simple as hand washing. People must make sure they wash their hands, after visiting the toilet. They must keep themselves clean.
For the country as a whole, someone needs to go back to the drawing board with our health care system; look at what we have here, and why it is not working. This isn’t the first warning we’ve had, so we need to apply great thinking to it. And we must ensure, we have the right people in the right jobs to ensure that at the very least, basic healthcare exists for all Sierra Leoneans.
Read the full story of GoWoman Hero Nyamacoro Sillah HERE
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