A Child Health Nurse and Ebola Survivor receives eye care treatment in Sierra Leone


Name: Fatimata

Country: Sierra Leone

Profession: Maternal and Child Health Nurse

 

Meet Fatimata, a maternal and child health nurse, based at Kailahun Government Hospital, in the eastern province of Sierra Leone. 

 

Kailahun district, along with the nearby town of Kenema, became the country's first major hotspots for the Ebola outbreak, which had crossed the border from Guinea in 2014. Many health care workers died having contracted the infection whilst helping to treat the increasing number of sick.

Fatimata assisted in the treatment of a young lady who was placed in the maternity ward at the hospital. Tragically this patient died, along with a fellow nurse and even the cleaner. Fatimata contracted the virus and was taken to the isolation ward at nearby Kenema hospital, which had become the epicentre for treatment. She was admitted in June 2014 and after weeks of care was thankfully declared free of the Ebola virus.

 

She initially stayed with relatives who lived in Port Loko as it was not safe to return to the Kailahun region, as the Ebola virus was spreading rapidly. Only when no new cases were reported did Fatimata feel it was safe to return to her home and carry on her much-needed care in the maternity ward.

Although free of the virus, Fatimata noticed that her eyes were beginning weaken and she was struggling to see, especially when performing many of her daily ward tasks.

It had become hard to see drug information and to do intravenous work on my patients

Thankfully a team from Vision Aid Overseas visited Kailahun Government Hospital and were able to help Fatimata with her condition.

With her new spectacles Fatimata was able to return to the maternity ward and carry on her nursing duties with much improved sight. Taking temperatures was no longer difficult and the digital display was clear to see. Reading the dial on the sphygmomanometer, to check a new mother's blood pressure, was also much easier.

Writing up medical notes and reports had become almost impossible for Fatimata without good light, but now she can see again.

But Fatimata's greatest joy is seeing the new born babies with greater clarity.

I can see clearly again and can now do my shift duties without struggling. I am so thankful!