Guinea has been declared Ebola free after more than 2,500 people died from the virus in the West African nation, leaving Liberia the only country still counting down for an end to the ruinous epidemic. People in the capital, Conakry, on Tuesday greeted the declaration by authorities and the UN World Health Organization with mixed emotions given the huge number of deaths, and the damage the virus did to the economy and the country’s health and education sectors.
On Wednesday, the government, together with representatives of donor nations and NGOs, will hold an official ceremony to mark the declaration. They will also pay tribute to the 115 health workers who died fighting Ebola and eight members of an Ebola awareness team who were killed by hostile locals in Womey, in the country’s forested southeast.
“Several of my family are dead. This situation has shown us how much we must fight for those who are survivors,” Fanta Oulen Camara, who works for Medecins Sans Frontieres Belgium (Doctors Without Borders), told the Reuters news agency.
“After I got better, the hardest thing was to make people welcome me. Most people that normally supported me abandoned me. Even the school where I was an instructor dropped me. It was very hard,” said Camara, 26, who fell ill in March 2014.