Ebola Wreaks Economic Woe In West Africa

Friday, July 18, 2014
By Paul Martin

Jason Beaubien
NPR.org
July 17, 2014

In eastern Sierra Leone, health officials have set up the world’s largest treatment for the Ebola virus. It’s getting new patients every day, in an outbreak that’s killed over 600 people in West Africa. Businesses in the area are suffering, and people are finding it difficult to earn a living.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In Sierra Leone, the largest ever Ebola treatment center has been set up. It’s in a town called Kailahun. The center is getting new patients every day in an outbreak that has killed more than 600 people in West Africa. The spread of the deadly disease is having a chilling effect on life in Kailahun. Businesses in the town are suffering, and as and NPR’s Jason Beaubien reports, people are finding it difficult to earn a living.

JASON BEAUBIEN, BYLINE: There’s fear and frustration here as one of the poorest countries in the world tries to deal with one of the scariest diseases on the planet. The lone bank in Kailahun pulled its staff out and shut its doors a month ago. The government has banned large gatherings which means that among other things, all the schools are closed. A popular Friday market that used to attract vendors from as far away as Guinea and Liberia has been canceled. Stores are shuttered and the usually bustling dirt streets in the center of town are almost traffic-free.

DORIS KAMARA: I’m praying to God that it will actually go today, and let’s get on – be free.

BEAUBIEN: Doris Kamara runs a small restaurant that’s grandly titled, “Doris Kamara Fast Food Enterprise.” It’s just a couple of wooden tables under a tin roof, but she’s got a powerful refrigerator and a view of what used to be Kailahun’s crowded traffic circle. Kamara says Ebola is killing her business.

The Rest…HERE

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