The Link are thrilled and relieved to hear that a vaccine to end Ebola has finally been found. Trials which have been taking place in Guinea (neighbouring Sierra Leone) have proved to be 100% successful.
We say ‘finally found’ as nearly 4,000 people have died in Sierra Leone (3585 quoted on National Ebola Response Centre, 3951 quoted by the BBC and Centers for Disease Control). 11,284 people have died internationally. However, scientists have heralded the vaccine as remarkable due to the ‘unprecedented speed with which the development of the vaccine and the testing were carried out’ (Guardian newspaper, 31 July 2015).
Yet again, the country will have to rebuild itself. This is desperately sad as following the horrific Civil War, Sierra Leone felt that it was finally getting back on its feet. Although listed as number 183 out of 187 countries on the United Nations ‘Human Development Index 2013’ – a rank which shows how a country compares to the rest of the World in terms of life expectancy/poverty/education etc. – Sierra Leone had expectations of great improvements and was slowly climbing the list.
The 2015 UNDP index is yet to be released. However, we suspect that this upward trend has been brought to a halt. Life expectancy was quoted as being 45.5 years in 2013 – a terribly young age. What will it be in 2015?
One of the biggest catastrophes in Sierra Leone is the number of orphan children that have been created. These children have watched their Mums, Dads, brothers, sisters and community surrounding them die – they must take priority. Because of poverty levels (72.68% below the poverty line in 2013), taking on care of the children is a huge undertaking. Even though Ebola has hopefully been wiped out, we mustn’t stop helping!
Trials of the vaccine have been funded by the World Health Organisation and a number of countries such as Norway, Canada and Great Britain. The British Government provided £1m of funding and has pledged more to ensure testing continues and is started in Sierra Leone and other countries.
For more information on the vaccine, follow this link to the Guardian newspaper website: