It was a beautiful morning, the whole of Africa arose to the
bells of a virus been born in her continent. In some countries, people had to
face the reality that mothers couldn’t cuddle their daughters, fathers couldn’t
hold their sons and the entire populace was scared of contact especially a
random one, this was terrible because for people like me running a professional
course at the time, touching people randomly wasn’t a choice; because I had to
cramp in a bus every day. In summary people were frightened of each other,
therefore trapped in their own freedom. Ebola was here and many people went to
their early graves for that. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t funny. Heroes were
needed as volunteers in Africa and ordinary Nigerian Health Workers responded.
Africa had long seen colonial rules, civil wars, corrupt
leaders and even slavery but Ebola was in a class of its own. Nevertheless many
organisations through the good wills of fellow men had been on standby just in
case of a situation like this in any part of the world, but this Ebola outbreak
that soon became an epidemic was beyond any logical plans, especially when all
it needed to spread was just a single touch. The heroics of this volunteers
were properly summarised by Nancy Gibbs a contributor to Time magazine, she
said “Anyone willing to treat Ebola victims ran the risk of becoming one. Which
brings us to the hero’s heart.”
In a country like Nigeria whose heroes have always been the
military and on very rare occasion’s athletes, it was an overwhelming sight to
see that out of the 855 volunteers around Africa, 206 came from Nigeria. This
proves, despite the hard-core nature of an average Nigerian not to even think
of the option to lay down their life’s for another Nigerian except that of
their own family, there is a reserved set of individuals who for the right
course and no military affiliation, can choose to lay down their lives, time
and money for others and sometimes like these health workers for those not in
the bothers of Nigeria.
There has been no confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease
(EVD) in the week to 6th
of December as reported by #AfricaAgainstEbola
campaign, although most of the countries are still under
surveillance especially the 3 cases in Liberia back in November, its benign to
say that Africa has come a long way the last one year or as clearly put by StriveMasiyiwa
, who says “Experts predicted 1 million infection by Jan ’15, today
numbers keep declining because we (Africa) said NO” and we are proud to see
that Nigerians were part of that NO literally.
The war is not over. But we are winning several battles already and
it’s largely because of these volunteers from across Africa and the World.
Today we as Nigerians celebrate the Heroes from Nigeria. Who despite leaving
their families behind went far to keep us safe at the expense of their own
lives. Thank you for being courageous.
By the way am just a Bystander
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