In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Claude, an Ebola patient, passes his baccalaureate (high school diploma) exam in the ALIMA CUBE
“A few days before my baccalaureate exam, my whole family tested positive for Ebola. Worried about my health and concerned about the approach of the most important exam of my life, I immediately went to an Ebola treatment center. Upon arrival, I tested positive and was placed in isolation. I quickly started treatment but was a little anxious and wondered how long it would take so I wouldn’t miss the exam. My mother, although very weakened by Ebola symptoms, asked for special measures for my situation. ALIMA and UNICEF teams sought approval from the Ministry of Education, and my school began making arrangements.
The first week in isolation – in the CUBE (Biosecure Emergency Room for Epidemics), a self-contained treatment unit for highly infectious diseases invented by ALIMA – was difficult. I had a fever, lack of appetite, and even went four days without eating. But after a while, I started to feel better. I followed the lessons and did the exercises sent by my classmates via WhatsApp on my phone. On the day of the exam, I was under the supervision of a teacher assigned by the Ministry of Education, who stood outside the glass partition of my CUBE. Once my answers were completed, they were scanned and emailed to the exam board. After five weeks at the treatment center, I went out healed from Ebola, unlike my mother and brother who unfortunately passed away. Then, a month later, I learned that I had passed my exam! Frankly, I don’t know how I would have handled the loss of my loved ones if I hadn’t passed the exam. The success was like a soothing relief from the pain.”
In Burkina Faso, Brigitte, trained to fight malnutrition, protects the babies in her village
“I have been taking care of my two-year-old niece for several months. When she arrived, she was not in good health. I immediately took her to the health center because she was almost starving. At that time, I did not know the symptoms of malnutrition. I was then trained by ALIMA on the subject. Now I regularly measure my niece’s mid-upper arm circumference to see if she is healthy. All the women in my neighborhood participated in the training session and when I talk to my neighbors, I realize that they all use the measurement bracelet regularly. If I ever travel to another area, I will be able to explain it to women who don’t know. Even if I can’t give them the tool, they will have an idea of what malnutrition is.”
In Nigeria, Amina survives her emergency delivery
“My name is Amina Isah and I am 30 years old. After a few months of pregnancy, I experienced severe abdominal pain and started to bleed a lot. A traditional birth attendant asked me to come to the hospital medical center where ALIMA was located; otherwise I was in danger of bleeding to death or losing my child.
I was well received by the ALIMA team, the midwives and the doctor examined me before explaining that my case required a cesarean section. They gave me a blood transfusion and they took me to the general hospital at Monguno. I was operated on there. The baby was very weak and had to be assisted by a machine to survive. We were then taken back to the hospital near our home. After 7 days of hospitalization with ALIMA, my baby and I were treated and cured free of charge. I am now a living witness of what ALIMA does for people in need and I will pass on this message wherever I go. I am very grateful to ALIMA and the warm-hearted people for the assistance they are providing to the displaced and the people of Monguno.”
Cover picture © Olivier Papegnies / ALIMA