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IN MAY 2014 DOZENS of mourners attended the funeral of a healer in the Kailahun District of eastern Sierra Leone. She had died after tending to people struck by fever, vomiting and bloody diarrhoea. As women ritually washed her corpse, 14 of them contracted the virus that had killed her and many who had sought her remedies. After the Ebola virus had swept through west Africa in the worst epidemic of the 21st century so far, as many as 365 deaths were traced to that single burial. In all, the outbreak killed 11,310 people.

 

When Bailor Barrie, a Sierra Leonean doctor, heard about the first cases of Ebola in his country, he knew it would spread quickly and widely. “Sierra Leone is a health desert,” he says....

 

Read each of the seven sections of the special report at the links below. 

 

An affordable necessity

A shifting burden

First things first

A crazy system

Kindest cut

Land of the free-for-all

The price of human lives