Aminata Bockarie, 33, is a nurse and team leader at the IFRC Ebola treatment centre in Kono, Sierra Leone. This is her story.
When we are on a morning shift, we come, we allocate the nurses duties and what we are supposed to do. We go in to the patient wards in the high risk area, we attend to the patients, we give them food. Whatever they need, we do it for them. So from there, if other help is needed, we can do for them any request they make.
I joined the Red Cross because I want to help my people. When the outbreak came to Sierra Leone I was so confused. I was not working here. The first time they called me to the Red Cross office in Kenema, I went there for training, did the training for three days, but then I ran away. I was so afraid. Even my mother called me not to work here. I said yes and I went back home. Then they called me again, saying that they needed a second batch of nurses. I went to the office, took an interview with them and did another training. Then I started working at the Ebola treatment centre (ETC) in Kenema. Now, I am in Kono.
I changed my mind because I would like to help my people. I was seeing my people dying and in that time we were not having enough nurses to volunteer to do the job. So I sacrificed for myself to help my people. It’s not because of money. Because even my elder sister, I lost my elder sister. She was a nurse, working in Kailahun district. She came to visit and advised me not to work at the ETC. I said okay. The following day she went back to her centre. Within three days somebody called me that my sister was sick, they have taken her to the government hospital and the following day she died. So all of my people advised me not to work, even my father, everybody. I said I was going to work – this is destiny. If God says you will die, you will die. So I am still working. I have not yet stopped working. I am trying to help my people.
Working here is good really. We are trying our best. At the time we opened this centre we were three in each group. But now, we have a lot of nurses. My own group, we are nine. When I come to work, I get in, see the patients – really I like my job. I like to go in, see the patients, talk to them, how they are feeling. If there is any complaint I will just take the medication, I give it to them, I encourage them, whatever they need, I take it and I give it to them.