Ebola causing trauma among children, families in Sierra Leone

Children and families in Sierra Leone are coping with “massive trauma” because of the Ebola epidemic, according to Theresa Betancourt of Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). Betancourt was quoted in a December 22, 2014 Huffington Post article about an Ebola-fighting colleague from Sierra Leone, Moses Zombo.

Betancourt, associate professor of child health and human rights at HSPH and director of the Research Program on Children and Global Adversity, noted that 50,000 children are now living on the streets in Sierra Leone and are vulnerable to trafficking. She referred to this dilemma as the “second wave of problems…orphaned children on the streets and teen pregnancy…[there are] few safe places for them to find acceptance.”

Betancourt also noted that many Ebola victims were previously victims in the Sierra Leone civil war. “One of the most troubling things we are seeing in this epidemic are the consequences of health systems and public trust that were never restored after the devastating civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone,” she said.

Read the Huffington Post article: An Ebola Fighter Named Moses Leads Orphans to Safety

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