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Ebola: Surviving Survival

Stigma & shame in the wake of disease

Two years after West Africa's Ebola outbreak came to an end, the deadly virus continues to take its toll. Only this time, it’s pushing survivors to the margins of society. 

Related: Ebola Warriors. Red Cross workers in Liberia battling the deadly disease

In Sierra Leone, communities often reject anyone who had Ebola out of fear that they still carry the deadly infection. The outcasts are evicted from their homes and find it difficult to earn even a meagre living. Child survivors too face discrimination and prejudice, with many shunned by their own families.

Support programmes rarely reach Ebola survivors, some of whom have filed a lawsuit against the Sierra Leone government for the misuse of aid money. Billboards on the streets to combat stigma appear largely ineffective as public ignorance continues to prevail. 

An RTD crew visits Sierra Leone, where more than 14,000 people were infected, and nearly 4,000 died from Ebola. We talk to survivors, fighting for acceptance, and many who feel as though society has forced them into isolation.