Ebola crisis began with just one healer’s claims to special powers.The outbreak need never have spread from Guinea, except for a herbalist in the remote eastern border village of Sokoma.
‘She was claiming to have powers to heal Ebola. Cases from Guinea were crossing into Sierra Leone for treatment,She got infected and died. During her funeral, women around the other towns got infected.’
Ebola has killed more than 1,350 people since it emerged in southern Guinea at the start of the year, spreading first to Liberia and cutting a gruesome and gory swathe through eastern Sierra Leone since May.
Experts are now being offered £6.5 million to find ways to save the lives of people struck down by the Ebola virus.
The emergency appeal has been launched by the Department for International Development and the Wellcome Trust health research charity.
Development Secretary Justine Greening said the money, which is part of an existing fund for research into health in humanitarian crises, will be used to improve knowledge around the spread of the disease.