News / USA

West African Immigrants Worry About Family, Friends as Ebola Spreads

West African Immigrants Worry About Family, Friends as Ebola Spreadsi
X
Daniela Schrier
August 12, 2014 11:46 PM
The deadly Ebola virus in West Africa has taken the lives of more than 1,000 people, according to the World Health Organization. In New York City, many Africans worry about their relatives and friends as the unprecedented outbreak sweeps through the region a continent away. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the Bronx in New York.
Daniela Schrier

The deadly Ebola virus in West Africa has taken the lives of more than 1,000 people, according to the World Health Organization.  In New York City, many Africans worry about their relatives and friends as the unprecedented outbreak sweeps through the region a continent away.  

Haunting scenes of Ebola victims in West Africa are a common sight on television news.  But for many West African immigrants living in New York City, the deadly outbreak is personal.

New York City is home to more than 70,000 people born in Western Africa.  Many hail from countries hardest hit by Ebola, including Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.  Many still have family and friends in those nations.

Like Leo Fraser, whose aunt who lives in Sierra Leone.

“Right now the family is figuring out how to get her more supplies, so she won't have to leave the home.  You know, because the more she interacts with the general population the more she is at risk for contracting Ebola," said Fraser.

Ebola has no known cure.  And the current West African outbreak is on pace to infect more people than all the previous outbreaks combined.

This is worrisome news in the Bronx, where half of the city’s West African population lives.  Imam Mohamadou Soukona, leads his community, or jama’ah, in prayers and collects donations for the sick.

“The community in the jama’ah will make a doa to pray for the people who are infected with this disease," said Soukona.

The mosque’s public relations manager, Bakary Camara:

“As individuals here in this community, we warn our members to be careful of anyone that they think might come from these areas and advise them to make sure that they look and take doctors' advice - not to have bodily contact that will in a sense contract the disease," said Camara.

West African residents expressed hope the global effort to contain the disease will work, but also frustration they could not do more to help.

 

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

Video Scientists Say We Need Softer Robots

Today’s robots are mostly hard, rigid machines, with sharp edges and forceful movements, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say they should be softer and therefore safer More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs