Stigma and discrimination are neglected silent killers in Africa
SEE ALSO :Congo's militia attacks Ebola centreIn an October 2014 essay, Karwah wrote that helping others with the disease brought her pleasure, and that: “If someone has Ebola, it is not good to stigmatise them, because you do not know who is next in line to contract the virus.” On February 21, however, Karwah died four days after giving birth by cesarean section to a son named Solomon. Hours after she left the hospital, she began convulsing. She was rushed back to the hospital, but hospital staff initially refused to touch her because of the foam around her mouth, according to Karwah’s sister, Josephine Manly. “They said she was an Ebola survivor and they did not want contact with her fluids. They all gave her distance. No one would give her an injection”. The family is not sure what caused Karwah’s convulsions, although Manly suspects that something went wrong during her C-section.
SEE ALSO :Congo Ebola spreading faster: WHOKarwah died the following day, but Manly believes her sister may have survived the complications if she had received immediate treatment. It is unfortunate that Karwah survived the deadly Ebola disease only to die as a result of the larger yet silent epidemic of health system failure. Unfortunately, as seen in this case, the stigma and discrimination was perpetuated by those who should know better, the healthcare workers on one of their own. It is indeed unfortunate.
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