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Nine-year-old JT* is an Ebola survivor who was cared for at an Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) in Liberia. After her diagnosis she stayed a full 21 days in the ETU and the rest of her family stayed in a holding center. Today, they have all returned home in good health.
Save the Children provides support to JT, and other children who have survived or become orphaned by Ebola, along with reintegration kits and referrals to other service providers.
Now that she's back home with her family, JT says, "I started school last Monday. I'm in the K-2 class where we learn spelling and math. Today I spelled words like ‘kid' and ‘dog.'" Patience, who was also treated by Save the Children, is a classmate of JT's, and perhaps her only friend. "We play together during recess because the other children still tease me because I had Ebola."
After surviving the harrowing disease, children like JT unfortunately face stigma and fear within their communities. Save the Children's extensive Ebola response includes not only medical treatment, but also focuses on services after patients survive the disease, like reunification and reintegration into families and communities, emotional support and assistance in helping survivors meet day-to-day needs.
While becoming accustomed to life after Ebola, JT is now focusing on her future. "Every day after school I have a study course underneath a tree outside my house," she tells us. "When I grow up, I want to be a doctor so I can help sick people become well again. I want to help people. When I was at the ETU they gave me medication and food, so that made it ok. They would braid my hair and that made me feel less scared. I feel much better now since I've been out."
Save the Children is on the ground in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Help us continue implementing comprehensive, child-focused response strategy to the world’s Ebola Crisis.
(* indicates that the name has been changed to protect identity)
Updated March 2015