Our country panicked, while thousands lay dying in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, their last visions strangers in spacesuits.
While the kits contained only the bare necessities, they would allow people to care for family and neighbors without inviting the spread of Ebola. While I received an enthusiastic response to my idea, Afya’s team sent me on a different mission: obtaining body bags, the unfortunate reality of people who were invisible in a world that waited far too long to see them.\r\n\r\n I spent two weeks calling body bag suppliers after school.
Doing nothing was genocide, with generations of families disappearing overnight. Treatment centers were desperate, wrapping bodies in garbage bags with duct tape and tossing them mindlessly into the ground.
Drawing on my new knowledge of Ebola’s pathology, I had an idea that I thought might work.\r\n\r\n Ebola Kits.
Rubber gloves, masks, and bleach, shrink-wrapped together inside a sturdy bucket, instructions in pictures to bridge the languages of Mende, French, Krio, Fula, and Susu.
The images haunted me, lifeless bodies in dirt, oblivious to the flies swarming around them, as everyone watched from a safe distance. It was disrespectful, even inhumane, because West African burials include washing, touching, and kissing the bodies.
I pitched my idea to The Afya Foundation, a global health NGO I have worked with since the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Without these rituals, West Africans believe the spirit of the deceased can never be at peace.
The leak-proof kind..need as many as you can spare!
”\r\n\r\n My shoulders slumped as the voice on the phone offered me camera bags instead.
Read more I was in 9th grade the first time I stumbled upon a copy of What caught my eye was its trademark title: white type, red highlight, a connotation that stories of great consequence lay beneath.
Such bold lettering gave me a moment’s pause, and I was prompted to leaf through its glossy pages...