Thanks to the reader who sent the link to Sheku Sheriff's Diary, an excellent blog. Here's the most recent post, from August 24: Ebola Updates from Segbwema and Kailahun: Stories from the Epicenter. Excerpt:
A month or two after Dr. Khan's workshops in Segbwema, Ebola hit Daru town with the ferocity of a storm. Daru was just seven miles from Segbwema and the indigenes of both towns interacted on a daily basis. Segbwema was more populated than Daru and in the absence of the timely Ebola education, the town would have been affected almost as badly as its neighbor, if not worse.
However, when Ebola came, Segbwema was better prepared than most towns in Kailahun district because of effective earlier education about the virus and the fact that the people had listened.
In the fight against Ebola, Segbwema has many advantages compared to other towns in Kailahun district. The town has always had a strong history of Catholic and Methodist educational institutions and consequently had a higher level of literacy than most towns in the district. Almost every child born in Segbwema has the chance to obtain at least primary school education and therefore there is higher than 60% literacy among the youths, a figure much higher than comparable localities.
Segbwema also has the Nixon Memorial teaching hospital, which was once the leading health care institution in Eastern Sierra Leone and had trained many of the nurses in the area.
Unlike inhabitants of other towns in the area with low awareness of the efficacy of Western medicine who mostly consult traditional healers and herbalists when they get sick, the people of Segbwema have always used the hospital and clinics or see independent health care practitioners when they get sick. They therefore had a more progressive view of health and wellness than neighboring towns whose inhabitants relied on the herbs and invocations of traditional healers for every conceivable ailment and sometimes only visited the hospital when it was too late.
Ebola has not however escaped Segbwema. A few weeks ago, Murray Belewa a descendent from Mendekelema, a town just two miles from Segbwema who was a government nurse in Daru suddenly felt very ill. Murray had attended the Wesley Secondary school in Segbwema and had more faith in the healthcare provided in Segbwema than Daru. He therefore made the fateful decision to come to Segbwema to seek help.
Upon arriving in Segbwema Murray sought treatment at Nixon Memorial Hospital and was initially treated by Nurse Joe Nallo who was working with the doctor at the hospital. Unfortunately Nurse Murray had Ebola and succumbed to the disease. A few days later, Nurse Joe Nallo who was the brother of the Acting Principal of Wesley Secondary School, Mr. Allan Idrissa Magbity, also became sick and died.
Then Allan Idrissa, the Principal, and his mother also became very sick. Unfortunately Allan Idrissa died and the entire family was quarantined and taken to the Ebola Treatment Center in Kailahun. Their house was quarantined and sprayed and even though they were in the middle of many groups of houses, the disease did not spread in the neighborhood. In total 4 members of the Nixon staff who treated Murray have now died out of the seven who had direct contact with him.
The blog is going in the Ebola Resources list.