In Banjor (Liberia), the death of one young woman has left her young children alone, at risk and shunned by the whole community.
A Red Cross team (pictured) collected the body of Bandu Johnson, a 27-year old woman who died in her home from Ebola.
As Bandu’s body was being removed, her 7 year old son Abraham appeared, carrying his 9 month old sister Beatrice in his arms. He looked bewildered and shocked at the sight of the Red Cross volunteers, dressed like spacemen, taking away his mother’s remains. He did not speak and nobody approached him and his sister.
His aunt told us that, during Bandu’s last days, the only one to look after her was Abraham because everybody else was afraid to go near her. Now the fear is that the children too are infected, though they show no signs as yet.
It can take up to 3 weeks for Ebola symptoms to reveal themselves – fever, diarrhoea, bleeding, rashes – and nobody was taking any chances. The Red Cross will send a contact tracer to monitor all those in the community who have been in contact with Bandu, but for her children it may already be too late.