Like Patricia, Masa, 29, is relieved to be leaving the centre and looks forward to seeing her family, but the loss of her child, who was admitted to the centre with her, makes her return bittersweet. “My mother and father are waiting for me, but it is difficult to go back without my baby,” Masa explains.
Masa is not the only survivor to return to her home without a loved one. Zaina Bangura, 38, also from Freetown, entered the treatment centre with four of her five children. Her husband had already died at home from Ebola. Zaina nursed him during his illness, as well as their children, despite becoming sick herself. As Zaina prepares to return home, she will do so alone. Her four children died while at the treatment centre.
Zaina looks to the future with much uncertainty, but is determined to care for her one remaining child. “I used to sell cooked rice, but now I have no money to buy rice because my husband used to give me money. I want to start up a new business, but maybe people will not buy from me.”