Rosaline, 29, is a nurse in Sierra Leone. CARE is a partner of the Kakoya health facility in Koinadugu district where she works. She was a volunteer community health worker with CARE when she was younger. She used her monthly stipend to put herself through nursing school. Rosaline was a front-line worker during the Ebola outbreak in 2014 and 2015. Today, she is playing a key role in her community’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
What is the situation like in Sierra Leone right now? Are people worried?
The situation is not easy. People worry a lot. There are a lot of things that are happening in Sierra Leone. We, the nurses, are putting everything in place. Even traditional authorities, they are putting everything in place, because the counsellors are worrying a lot. There are suspected cases in Guinea, and they are our nearby neighbors. So, we worry a lot about this disease.
What kinds of things are people doing?
We have set up handwashing stations at every public place – in community gathering places, in schools, at the health facility, everywhere. And people don’t shake hands. Most of the gatherings that were happening before have been stopped. No nightclubs, no football, no gathering, no traditional societies, everything has been stopped. Right now the country is at a standstill. Infection prevention and control protocol is our first area of work; we do community engagement meetings, we do our outreach. In our centers, we use our Infection Prevention Control (IPC) protocols, we wear our masks, we don’t touch patients, we take their temperatures, and we wash our hands regularly. Even for deliveries, we disinfect every instrument and we wear our masks. We are focusing on outreach and community engagement for now.