Suspicion, anger and fear in Ebola-hit Liberia

2014-11-10 15:34

A new Al Jazeera’s documentary, Liberia: Living with Ebola, exposes the harsh realities of living in a country struck by the epidemic.

What becomes clear is that Liberia – where half of all Ebola deaths have taken place – is suffering just as much from an ill-equipped health system and corrupt government as the disease.

“This remarkable film gives a deeply disturbing insight into what it is like to live in a society gripped by dread of contagion and mistrust of the authorities, a place where no-one shakes hands any more, where a mother will think twice before picking up a sick child to give it comfort,” says Al Jazeera English’s executive producer Diarmuid Jeffreys.

In Liberia, citizens are so mistrustful of the state that they believe that Ebola is a conspiracy hatched by the government to make money.

This has lead them to evade health workers and has compounded fatalities.

The country is so gripped by fear that a young woman died of an asthma attack after hospital staff refused to help her until she had been fully tested for Ebola.

Health workers spend hours on their feet, doing exhausting, dangerous work, only to receive $280 in return a month.

Liberian investigative journalist Mae Azango, who heads the documentary with Sierra Leone’s Emmy, BAFTA and Peabody winner Sorious Samura, talks about the fact that when she gets home, she must tutor her daughter, who has been unable to go to school since the outbreak started.

Ebola has truly brought many part of Africa to a standstill.

» Liberia: Living with Ebola premieres on Al Jazeera on Wednesday, November 12, at 11.30pm, with repeats on November 13 at 10.30am, November 14 at 4.30am, November 15 at 5.30pm, and November 16 at 6.30am CAT

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