The country is leaving behind its back the Ebola nightmare

Sierra Leone is leaving behind its Ebola nightmare. The country is not yet declared virus-free, but after eight months schools reopened and people want their normality back: celebrating, smiling, greeting friends shaking their hands. The awakening has been brutal, as it’s not just about the high number of victims (officially, on May 10th 2015 they were almost 4,000, but probably they’re a lot more): “Unemployment is really high – explains Maria Carr of Italian ngo COOPI – and there’s a great problem with the kids who lost their parents because of the Ebola virus. And in these months with closed school adolescent pregnancies grew a lot”. The whole economy in Sierra Leone seems knocked out: there’s no money to pay salaries, commerce almost stopped, mining is in crisis, a lot of foreigners went away and many companies have temporarily closed. “Ebola seems to be under control – says Joseph Turay, 49 years old, Chancellor of the Makeni University – but its social impact has been devastating, the clock was set back fifteen years. Ebola must be a lesson: it taught us we need to strenghten our healthcare and education all over the country. This way we’ll be ready to face our future challenges”.