Responding to the needs of deafened Ebola survivors

16th September 2015

Photograph of an Ebola information sheetOne of the little known impacts of the West African Ebola crisis is that many survivors experience acquired D/deafness. Following a recent needs assessment to Sierra Leone, we’re looking at how the needs of newly D/deafened children and young people can be met. Having survived the horror of Ebola, many D/deafened children are being stigmatised and left to fend for themselves on the streets. Furthermore there is absolutely no provision for communication support, or speech & language therapy. Absolutely none as Steve Crump explains:

“It’s harrowing to meet children who are at a loss as to what has happened to them. The added tragedy being that many of the children are also Ebola orphans, having lost their parents and siblings to the disease. This is something we have to respond to”.

In partnership with WHO and a number of local NGOs in Sierra Leone, DeafKidz International is looking at how best to design and deliver a sustainable care pathway for D/deafened Ebola children. This is not easy in one of the lowest resourced nations on earth and where the threat of an Ebola resurgence remains, but our planning workshop in July will engage both practitioners and donors, as we work to ensure no D/deafened Ebola survivor is left behind.

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