Sierra Leone Prepares for ‘Ebola Christmas’ of Little Cheer

Sierra Leone Prepares for ‘Ebola Christmas’ of Little Cheer

In this Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014 file photo, a healthcare worker dons protective gear before entering an Ebola treatment center in the west of Freetown, Sierra Leone.  Dr. Brima Kargbo, Sierra Leone's chief medical officer, confirmed Thursday Dec. 18, 2014, that Dr. Victor Willoughby died earlier in the day after being tested positive for Ebola on Saturday, the 11th doctor in the country to die from the disease that is ravaging West Africa. (AP Photo/Michael Duff, FILE)
In this Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014 file photo, a healthcare worker dons protective gear before entering an Ebola treatment center in the west of Freetown, Sierra Leone.  (AP Photo/Michael Duff, FILE)

(Business Week) – Mabinty Mansaray’s plan for Christmas and New Year’s was the usual: grab her kids and her two sisters and take the bus from Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, to her village more than 100 miles away.

For the 27-year-old hairdresser, the holidays have meant getting together for more than a week to have fun, settle disputes, hold rites to remember the dead, and send boys and girls for initiation into secret societies.

Not this year.

“Ebola is reported in every district including Freetown,” she said in an interview in her rented apartment. “I don’t feel safe to travel with my family in overloaded commercial vehicles as they keep informing us on radio that Ebola spreads through body contact.”

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