Showing posts from April, 2016

Constance and Nancy and Everyone They Knew | Fantasy History 1

Five days a week, Nancy Dolly Grant would walk past the Princess Christian Mission Hospital on the eastern side of Freetown to an old produce port at Susan's Bay, Big Wharf.   The Princess Christian Mission hospital that lies back from the old Fourah Bay road, along which ran railway track, was established in 1892 as a teaching hospital for "training African ladies in nursing and in ministering to the spiritual and bodily needs of the sick and poor." The premises had a large free ward for women and children, a small ward for paying patients, a ward for European missionaries, consulting room, operating room and a residence for the European matron and sisters. Two miles away, on the west side of town, near the waterside market at King Jimmy, was the much larger government-run hospital, Connaught Hospital, that was opened in 1910 by the English duke of Connaught, Arthur. Young Nancy’s “greatest ambition” was to be a nurse. Between the two hospitals ran n

Constance's World | Fantasy History Series One

This Vitabu series will feature excerpts from a book on Sierra Leonean women councilors, mayors, cabinet ministers, and political candidates. Vitabu's  Fantasy History starts with one of the most well known pioneering political figures, Constance Horton Cummings-John.  Constance's World | Fantasy History Imagine nursing a six-month-old baby while a deadly virus rips through town. You have neighbors hovering between life and death and your husband’s assistant has lost 21 family members to the virus. The Spanish influenza of 1918 had unique features. First, victims experienced headaches, pain, and fever. Next, their faces turned blue-black. Then they coughed up blood and bled from the nose after. Finally, as bacteria invaded the lungs, vital organs transformed into fluid, drowning the patient. For most sufferers, the attack lasted 2-4 days. But death often came suddenly with no symptoms or people succumbed to the infection within a few hours. The First World

The Ebola Outbreak in West Africa By Chernoh Alpha M. Bah

In The Ebola Outbreak in West Africa , Chernoh Alpha M. Bah, an award-winning Sierra Leonean journalist, activist, and advocate, does more than tell the reader about what award-winning Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Adichie likes to call the "danger of a single story."  Bah's Ebola Outbreak in West Africa illustrates and illuminates the Ebola crises in new and terrifying ways. It is the first indigenous account that presents a holistic and independent investigation into one of the worst human tragedies in recent history. Below are excerpts from a Facebook chat with the globetrotting writer. Vitabu : When did you first hear about Ebola in Sierra Leone? Chernoh Bah: I was in the United States on a book tour. First, I was shocked by the reports and the discussion around a lack of equipment… I launched an appeal for medical supplies to be sent by friends. I mobilized support, but then I decided to go see what was happening. Vitabu : Before the news broke, yo