A charity has reported that months after the Ebola virus epidemic ended in Guinea, numerous survivors still suffer from physical and mental effects of the epidemic, having insufficient access to healthcare due to lack of funds.
More than a thousand of Guineans survived the epidemic which lasted about 42 days with a couple of flare ups some months after the country was declared ebola-free. Most of them are said to suffer from depression as well as post-traumatic stress disorder, the Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA) reports.
More are said to suffer from physical discomforts such as joint pains, chronic fatigue, and headaches. Despite their health problems, they can barely afford access to health care.
“It is important that survivors and their families have access to quality care because many are unable to work and cannot afford to pay their own care,” ALIMA said in a statement.
The Ebola virus disease which afflicted some western African countries between 2013 and 2016 resulted in the loss of lives of more than 11,300, with over 20,000 infected.
The countries affected were Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. Nigeria was least affected, as the Ebola virus disease only lasted 93 days without flare ups.
Although all countries have been declared Ebola-free, there is still a stigma associated with survivors of the disease, in addition to the physical and mental health problems they go through on the daily.
“They are traumatized by what they experienced and overcame,” said Davin Mpaka, a neuropsychiatrist with ALIMA.
“Many feel like they have nothing else to gain from life, but they have no one to talk to about it,” he added.
In some cases, non-infected members of the community neglect the use of health care facilities for the fact that Ebola patients have been treated. Some months ago it was reported that these group of Guineans avoiding the hospital included pregnant women.