Health Problems of Ebola Virus Disease Survivours in Sierra Leone, 2015: Making a Case for Follow-Up Care After Discharge from Ebola Treatment Centres

Edmund Presiror Nabena, Waheed Ariyo Bakare, Olayinka Stephen Ilesanmi, Roosevelt Anyanwu*, Jude Chimaobina Akuechiama*, Samuel E. J. Inyang*, Temitope Famuyide*
1 Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
2 Africa Union Support to Ebola Outbreak in West Africa, Sierra Leone
3 Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Abuja, Nigeria
4 Department of Community Health, Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Ondo State, Nigeria
5 WHO Afro Lab for Viral Hemorrhagic Fever, Virology Unit Central Research Laboratory, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Nigeria
6 Swift Emergency Response International, Lagos, Nigeria

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© Nabena et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Community Health, Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Ondo State, Nigeria; Tel: +2348032121868; E-mail:


Background :

The number of the survivours of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is increasing. They have reported health problems.


This study aimed to document the health problems of EVD survivour in Bombali District Sierra Leone.


This was a cross sectional study conducted at Bombali District, Sierra Leone in February, 2015. Participants were EVD survivours admitted and discharged from September, 2014 to February 2015. In all, 304 survivours participated in the study by filling an interviewer administered questionnaire. Data were analyzed with SPSS version 21.0 using descriptive statistics. Association between independent variables was explored with chi square test. The level of statistical significance was set at p <0.05.


The median age of survivour was 24 years (range 1-89 years), 105 (34.5%) were <18 years, and more than half of the total responders (60.9%) were females, 92 (30.3%) were discharged in November, 2014. All 189 (62%) had health problem: 65 (34%) and 124 (66%) had single and multiple complaints respectively. Joint pain was reported by 111(58.7%), generalized body pain – 91(48.1%), headache – 81(43%), eye problems – 65(34%), psychological problems – 63(33%). Only 2 (1.06%) survivours have sought for help. Among survivours of 18 years and above, 148(74.4%) had health problems p<0.001. Health problems were reported by 101(70.1%) of survivours with no formal education p=0.002. Also, 52(83.9%) widow(er) had health problems p<0.001.


There is a need for the establishment of survivour’s clinic. Provision of specialized care for survivour is encouraged based on their identified needs. This can be done early to avoid complications.

Keywords: Ebola, Ebola survivour’s clinic, Ebola treatment unit, health problems, Sierra Leone, Survivour.