A Rapper Marks the End of Ebola in Sierra Leone With a Music Video

The nation was officially declared free of the epidemic on Nov. 7.
Nov 11, 2015·
TakePart editorial fellow Nicole Mormann covers a variety of topics, including social justice, entertainment, and environment.

It’s not every day you see medical staff in full-body hazmat suits break dancing in a rap video, but considering the Ebola epidemic ended this weekend in Sierra Leone, for many natives the dance fest fit the mood of the occasion.

This Saturday marked the 42nd day since anyone in the nation was newly diagnosed with Ebola; according to the World Health Organization, that’s the criterion needed to officially declare the epidemic over. Rightfully, people celebrated by singing and dancing over the good news.

“Thank God, it’s gone—a new day has come,” Sierra Leonean rapper Block Jones sings in his recent video “Bye Bye Ebola.” The video features the music-talent collective Freetown Uncut and a bunch of other people busting a move, including those who provided medical care to Ebola victims and policemen at checkpoint stations who helped prevent the spread of the disease.

The recent epidemic is said to be the deadliest outbreak since the virus was discovered in 1976, killing five times more people than all other recorded occurrences combined, according to WHO.

To date, the virus has infected an estimated 8,704 people and killed 3,589 in Sierra Leone since the first diagnosed case was reported in May 2014.

Though the end of the epidemic comes as celebratory news for some, it is a solemn reminder to others of friends and family members they lost to the virus.

“For us, Ebola is not over,” said health care worker Yusuf Kamara in a speech during a ceremony in the country’s capital on Saturday morning. “We need your help to treat the many, many health problems we still suffer from. And remember those who died at the hands of Ebola and especially the children who have been affected by this outbreak.” Kamara lost 16 family members during the outbreak, according to The Guardian.

Neighboring Guinea has yet to reach 42 days without a new diagnosis. The last confirmed case there was reported on Nov. 1.