War, now Ebola in a troubled region of Africa


By Ruben M. Koroma
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
November 29, 2014

The news about Ebola detected in Guinea brought fears in Freetown and all of Sierra Leone. People knew that Ebola possibly would come into our country because the people of Guinea and Sierra Leone are so connected by intermarriage, business and tribal relationships.

Personally, this was the worst timing for me and my band members — I lead the Refugee All Stars, which will perform this week in Milwaukee. Our flight schedule to the United States at the end of March was from Conakry in Guinea, and there was not enough time for us to change flights. However, Ebola was detected only in the forest region of southern Guinea by then, which is about 400 to 500 miles from Conakry. We hired a car that took only us directly to the airport and tried to avoid as much contact as we could.

In the months that followed, we started hearing about people dying every day in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The worst part of the story is that health workers who are working relentlessly to save people’s lives also are being killed by the disease. The fears of contracting this life-threatening disease increased.

Hospitals were being abandoned by health workers for fear of their lives. People were abandoning their sick relatives at a time when they needed them the most. Burying our dead with honor could no longer be practiced as culture demands…

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