My Family Got Ebola

A Liberian-Nigerian college student talks about his family’s struggle to survive the epidemic.
Sep 24, 2014·
TakePart fellow Jessica Dollin studied journalism at the University of Arizona. She has written for the Phoenix New Times and HerCampus.

The large-scale implications of Ebola—such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's new estimate that 1.4 million people could be infected by January—populate the headlines.

Personal stories can be just as revealing, but given the risks of talking to infected people and restrictions now in place against traveling to high-risk areas, accounts have been few and far between.

Today BBC News aired an interview with a Liberian-Nigerian man named Abba Abashi, who lives in Nairobi. He told the story of his family’s traumatic encounter with the infection. His cousins have died, others in his family can't go to work or school, and he can't visit because of travel restrictions.

Abashi's account shows how the Ebola outbreak in West Africa—already the worst ever—is having dramatic consequences even for those far from the danger zone. With newly pledged aid from the U.S. and others on the way, millions of families like his are surely hoping the worst forecasts don't come true.