HUFFINGTON POST

Powerful Portraits Of Ebola Survivors Back Home And Still Fighting To Live

They survived Ebola, but their ordeal is far from over.

French photographer Livia Saavedra travelled to the Guinean capital Conakry in October for Waha International to document Ebola survivors who have returned to their communities. Some have lost family to the disease, others no longer have jobs or face rejection from their community. "The stigma they face is terrible," Saavedra wrote in an email to WorldPost.

Some of the Guineans Saavedra met are fighting hard to overcome that stigma. Nyanbalamou Gabou, a 24-year-old medical student, worked to raise awareness about Ebola in his community before he fell sick himself, and was embraced by the community when he returned, Saavedra says.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed over 5,000 people, mainly concentrated in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. According to figures of the World Health Organization, nearly 10,000 others have contracted the disease and survived.

Take a look at Saavedra's moving portraits of Ebola survivors and their stories below, and visit her website to see more of her work.

  • <strong>Dgenebou Soumah, 20, Coyah Prefecture</strong>
<br>
"Her fiancé came to see her when she came home, but she doesn’t k
    Livia Saavedra
    Dgenebou Soumah, 20, Coyah Prefecture
    "Her fiancé came to see her when she came home, but she doesn’t know if they will get married. Despite the death of her mother, her aunt, and her niece, she is full of life."
  • <strong>M’Balia, Coyah Prefecture </strong>
<br>
"M’Balia’s husband died in September. She is now facing extreme poverty and
    Livia Saavedra
    M’Balia, Coyah Prefecture
    "M’Balia’s husband died in September. She is now facing extreme poverty and cannot afford to feed her children every day. As a widow with two children, she has no chance of remarrying."
  • <strong>Fanta and Sydia Bangoura</strong>
<br>
"Only the little girl was infected with the disease. The children haven’t real
    Livia Saavedra
    Fanta and Sydia Bangoura
    "Only the little girl was infected with the disease. The children haven’t realized that they are now orphans. The problem of caring for children affected by the disease is becoming urgent."
  • <strong>M’Balia Sylla with her father-in-law</strong> 
<br>
"Her father-in-law has always supported her. It took a lot of per
    Livia Saavedra
    M’Balia Sylla with her father-in-law
    "Her father-in-law has always supported her. It took a lot of persuasion from the community health workers to convince her to seek treatment. She works at the nursing station at the KM 36 military barracks. Ever since she received her certificate of discharge from the military, her community has been more present."
  • <strong>Kanta, Conakry</strong>
<br>
"Kanta is from a Wahhabi family. Despite her unease and the horrible stigma she suffers,
    Livia Saavedra
    Kanta, Conakry
    "Kanta is from a Wahhabi family. Despite her unease and the horrible stigma she suffers, she wants to speak up about her experience."
  • <strong>Bengali Souma, 27</strong>
<br>
"He lost his job and has to care for his younger brother and sister. He will need to
    Livia Saavedra
    Bengali Souma, 27
    "He lost his job and has to care for his younger brother and sister. He will need to be very successful in order to reintegrate into his community, otherwise they will continue to think that he is cursed."
  • <strong>Nyanbalamou Gabou, 24</strong>
<br>
"Nyanbalamou Gabou is a medical student. He raised awareness about the disease wi
    Livia Saavedra
    Nyanbalamou Gabou, 24
    "Nyanbalamou Gabou is a medical student. He raised awareness about the disease with his neighbors before being infected. As a result, he wasn’t rejected by his community when he returned home."
  • <strong>Mamadou Sadio Bah</strong>
<br>
"Mamadou Sadio Bah is a doctor in a health center. Ever since he got sick, he has bee
    Livia Saavedra
    Mamadou Sadio Bah
    "Mamadou Sadio Bah is a doctor in a health center. Ever since he got sick, he has been working to dispel myths about the disease."
  • <strong>Fanta Camara, 25</strong>
<br>
"She works at the Ebola Treatment Center in Donka. She lost her position as a teacher
    Livia Saavedra
    Fanta Camara, 25
    "She works at the Ebola Treatment Center in Donka. She lost her position as a teacher because of her illness."
  • <strong>Fanta Cherif </strong>
<br>
"Fanta Cherif remains hidden in her house. Her friends don’t call her any more and her st
    Livia Saavedra
    Fanta Cherif
    "Fanta Cherif remains hidden in her house. Her friends don’t call her any more and her studies have been put on hold by her illness. The after-effects of the virus lasted for a long time in her case. You can recover from Ebola but still experience symptoms for up to seven weeks."
  • <strong>Fatoumata Binta</strong>
<br>
"Ever since her brother and five members of her family died, Fatoumata Binta has had to
    Livia Saavedra
    Fatoumata Binta
    "Ever since her brother and five members of her family died, Fatoumata Binta has had to take care of her younger brother. Her neighbors have closed the shutters facing her house. She is thinking about working at the Ebola center in Donka."
  • "Crazy rumors about the Ebola epidemic are making it even more difficult for health workers to do their jobs. In the absence
    Livia Saavedra
    "Crazy rumors about the Ebola epidemic are making it even more difficult for health workers to do their jobs. In the absence of treatment, the sick turn to their traditional healer, which contributes to the spread of the disease."
  • "People living in Coyah or at the KM 36 military base (shown above), who are infected with Ebola have to be treated at the Eb
    Livia Saavedra
    "People living in Coyah or at the KM 36 military base (shown above), who are infected with Ebola have to be treated at the Ebola Treatment Center in Donka Hospital in Conakry."
  • "Two of the main epicenters for the disease are in Nzerekore in Forest Guinea and in Conakry (shown above)."
    Livia Saavedra
    "Two of the main epicenters for the disease are in Nzerekore in Forest Guinea and in Conakry (shown above)."
  • "The sanitary conditions, the lack of access to running water, and poverty are preventing the population from fighting the Eb
    Livia Saavedra
    "The sanitary conditions, the lack of access to running water, and poverty are preventing the population from fighting the Ebola outbreak."
  • "A prevention poster in Conakry. The government’s delay in responding to the crisis and the 24 billion Guinean francs in cuts
    Livia Saavedra
    "A prevention poster in Conakry. The government’s delay in responding to the crisis and the 24 billion Guinean francs in cuts from the health budget at the beginning of the outbreak contributed to the overall scale of the epidemic."
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