The children who beat ebola.
- Steele, Ben
About this work
Following the end of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, this Dispatches documentary looks at the effects the outbreak has had on the younger generation, many of whom will now grow up without elder relatives. It follows the life of five children in Sierra Leone, who have been affected by the outbreak. 12-year-old Abu and his adopted brother Abdul are introduced. They recount their first experiences of Ebola, and talk about family members that contracted the disease an died. Next introduced is Abu and Abdul’s cousin Adama, who was admitted to Médecins Sans Frontièrs Prince of Wales Isolation Unit with severe Ebola symptoms. In Moyamba Junction, Michael is introduced, whose father died after contracting Ebola. He speaks about his relationship with his father. His mother, and sisters Mariyama and Michela are introduced. They recount their experiences in an Ebola isolation unit, and explain the social stigma that contracting Ebola receives. In Freetown, cemetery extension work and the performance of burial rites are shown. 6-year-old Naomi, whose father is the head gravedigger, is introduced. Back in Moyamba Junction, Michael explains that his father’s burial has caused controversy in the town. In Wellington, Abu and Abdul return to their family home for the first time. They describe their relationship with their father and find a secret money box. In Moyamba Junction, Michael and his siblings talk about the stigma they received when they returned to their family town. Michael is shown attending church. Abu is shown leaving for Freetown, and Abdul to a different rural town, where relatives will care for them. The programme follows Abu to his new home, where he meets his aunt and uncle. In Moyamba Junction, Michael and his friends clean their school classroom in preparation for returning to school. Then, in Freetown, Abu is shown buying materials from the market for his new school. Michela is shown returning to school. The Deputy Head of the school announces that the Headmaster had contracted Ebola since its closure, and has recently died. Abu is shown attending his first day at his new school.
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