Watch above: Sierra Leone community worries about family back home
SASKATOON – The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has garnered attention all around the world.
In Saskatoon, it’s been an uneasy few weeks and months for Moses Kargbo and the local Sierra Leone community
“Everything has become upside down in Sierra Leone,” said Kargbo, president of Saskatoon Sierra Leoneans Cultural Community.
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Nancy Williams was in Sierra Leone just last year visiting. She says the Ebola outbreak is causing the already devastated country even more damage.
“My country is dragging down, it’s down, it’s down, we need help from the whole world, we cannot see our country going down like that; no doctor, no medication, no treatment, no good facility,” said Williams, a Saskatoon Sierra Leoneans Cultural Community member.
Over 4,500 people in West Africa have died from the Ebola virus since spring.
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“This is the first time Ebola outbreaks have happened in capital cities in Africa, usually it’s in rural areas and it burns out in the villages,” said Dr. Johnmark Opondo, deputy medical health officer with the Saskatoon Health Region (SHR) .
Sierra Leone is one of the three worst-hit countries.
“I cannot tell you anyone I know now because I’m not there and what is going on there, is surprising to me,” said Kargbo.
“It is really, really difficult for them there and the difficulty they have there, it’s also affecting us because every day at least a relative or a friend might be lost or suffering,” said Ibrahim Kamara, a Saskatoon Sierra Leoneans Cultural Community member.
Being thousands of miles away, not being able to do more is weighing on their hearts and minds.
“It’s like 30 years backwards for them again; I call … every day in Sierra Leone to check on my family … every day I call,” said Williams.
The local community is small but during this tough time it’s brought them closer to the rest of the city.
“People are sympathizing with me, anytime … ‘How is your family? How are they doing there? What happened’,” said Kargbo.
With no end to the outbreak in sight, many members want to take a trip back when it’s safe to do so.
“I have to go see them, to set my eyes on them, to see my mom, my sisters, my nieces, my nephews,” said Williams.
The Saskatoon Sierra Leoneans Cultural Community is planning a fundraiser to help loved ones and the people back home. For more information or to help, contact them at [email protected]广州桑拿网.