Ebola: inside the treatment centres
For a patient diagnosed with perhaps the world’s most chilling disease, Congo’s Ebola treatment centres are a terrifying place to be.
From the moment their blood tests positive, victims are placed in hermetically sealed bio-secure units. As they teeter between life and death, almost the only physical contact they have with the outside world is with doctors clad head to toe in decontamination suits.
There is one exception, however: In almost every transparent plastic cell, a survivor of Ebola, now immune to the disease, is on hand to offer solace, encouragement and — because there is no need for protective garb — a human touch.
So soothing is their presence that such survivors are known as “lullaby singers”. With Ebola being declared a global health emergency last week, nearly a year after it first broke out, they may just hold the key to defeating the disease.