Guinea Ends Transmission of Ebola Virus

Forty-two days have passed since the last person confirmed to have Ebola virus disease in Guinea tested negative for the second time. The country now enters a 90-day period of heightened surveillance to ensure that any new cases are identified quickly before they can spread to other people.

Saa Sabas Temessadouno holds a certificate showing he was cured of Ebola (file photo). “ It’s my certificate I’m most proud of” Saa Sabas Temessadouno, who fell ill in April last year, after accompanying a sick elder to the health clinic. He spent more than three weeks in an Ebola treatment unit after testing positive for the virus. “This certificate proves I have been cured of Ebola,” he said. “It shows I am no longer contagious. When people see it, they believe it.” A few months after his release from the treatment centre, the former agronomist helped found the Association for People Affected by and Cured of Ebola in Gueckedou to help other survivors reintegrate into their communities. “There was so much stigma for a while,” Temessadouno said. “We couldn’t find work. Our families shunned us. Now we work to educate people so that survivors are welcomed home, not sent away. It has been very successful.”

PRESS RELEASE

Geneva — Today the World Health Organization (WHO) declares the end of Ebola virus transmission in the Republic of Guinea.

Forty-two days have passed since the last person confirmed to have Ebola virus disease tested negative for the second time. Guinea now enters a 90-day period of heightened surveillance to ensure that any new cases are identified quickly before they can spread to other people.

Tindi shares her cervical cancer ordeal

Veronica Mustapha Tindichebwa

Veronica Mustapha Tindichebwa

 “I got to know that I was diagnosed with cervical cancer last year in July. It was during one of those times when I had gone for routine checkups after feeling some on-and-off pains around my abdomen. I had not even had my periods for the last three years and yet I was not using contraceptives.

Also, my bones would hurt as well as my back and I had an abnormal mucous-like discharge, like the one a pregnant woman expels when her water has broken. I went to see my gynaecologist, who told me that everything was fine.
He said it was something that sometimes happened to women after giving birth. However, I had given birth to my son three years before I was diagnosed with the cancer. He passed on, though.

When the signs and symptoms persisted, I got a little worried and decided to do a vaginal screening and the results showed that I had Stage 0 of cervical cancer. This meant that the cancer cells were confined to the surface of the cervix.
I shared the information with my boss at KFM. He was kind enough to give me a contact of an oncologist, who specialises in treating people with cancer, at Nakasero Hospital.

I made an appointment with this doctor who gave me some good medical advice including how we needed to start the treatment right away.
My family members on the other hand, advised that I seek a second opinion, which I did from another oncologist working at Mulago hospital. I was told the same thing.

The doctors said I was lucky to have found out early enough because once the cancer spreads to the womb or top of the vagina, one has to have radiation therapy and surgery.

This kind of worried me but the doctors assured me the cancer at my stage could easily be treated although they said that it would be quite painful.

The treatment
I started medication right away, that same month I was diagnosed. We could not wait as cancer has a tendency of spreading to other body parts if not dealt with.

I was told that chemotherapy treatment would be too strong for me as the cancer was still in its very early stages.

Therefore, I was put under radiotherapy and prescribed medicine to take on a daily basis. You cannot imagine how many tonnes of medicine I took! The treatment took a toll on me as I would vomit from time to time.

I lost appetite, had body pain as if I had been stung by an insect and my hair started breaking. I had dreadlocks at the time but I cut-them off.

The radiation, which was a combination of injections, drugs and vaginal screenings, took place for about nine months at Mulago Hospital. I would not go to work when I felt weak.

But when I had the strength, I would go. I carried a lot of fluids, mostly water and juice, to re-energise my body from time to time. Driving was not tasking because I had a driver who dropped and picked me from my workplace.

Biggest fear
My biggest worry through this entire ordeal was who would take care of my two girls if something happened to me. They are aged five and 10. I have raised them single-handedly.

You can never guarantee the safety of your children once you are not there. What even made it more difficult is that my family is not here in Uganda. They live in Tanzania.
But I pulled through with prayer, faith and taking medicine. After undergoing all that gruesome treatment, I was declared cancer-free in March, this year.

Costs
I relied on my salary to pay for the treatment. I also had a few friends who made contributions from time to time. If I am to make an estimation, I think I spent about Shs5m ($3,680)on the radiation therapy, tests and tablets.

“I thought only people in Africa could catch AIDS”

By This Is Africa on March 16, 2014 — Rachel Dilley, 48, never imaged that she could possibly be HIV+

Rachel Dilley1

After a short holiday relationship, she began to fall ill and it all seemed strange. According to her, she never used condoms since she knew she had very little chance of falling pregnant at her age. When someone suggested she test for HIV, she was rather surprised that this would be even suggested as she thought she couldn’t get the virus

SA’s inspirational HIV-positive Aids activist

By on October 16, 2015 — Phindile Sithole-Spong was born with HIV but only found out at age 19 when she ‘was diagnosed with full-blown Aids’. She speaks about her organisation, Rebranding HIV, working to fight stigma and discrimination

Phindile Sithole-Spong. Photo: Health-e.org.za

Phindile Sithole-Spong. Photo: Health-e.org.za

People living with HIV still face enduring stigma and discrimination despite the availability of information, knowledge of HIV/AIDS and increased government programmes.

Phindile Sithole-Spong, a South African HIV-positive activist featured by the BBC is working to fight stigma and discrimination around HIV/Aids and sexual health.

Sithole-Spong says, “I was diagnosed with full-blown Aids at the age of 19”.  She says her biological parents died of  Aids-related illnesses and she has been living with HIV for 26 years.

Bottles of antiretroviral drug Truvada Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

While at university, a few years after finding out her status, Sithole-Spong says, “I started to realise that one of the biggest issues with HIV was that people still had a very backward mentality about HIV and Aids. People still thought that because you are HIV positive, its a death sentence”.

Sithole-Spong aims to create HIV/Aids awareness through her organisation, Rebranding HIV, which mainly works with young people to to fight stigma and dispel myths on HIV.

“The main strategy of Rebranding HIV is to put a face and voice behind HIV so its not some sort of abstract idea and it becomes more real,” she tells BBC.

The objective is to alter preconceptions and misconceptions about HIV/Aids.

Sithole-Spong says she lives a pretty normal life and found a new boyfriend, who is HIV negative, “and we started to learn together and grow together”.