Off-duty cleaner

While much has changed in Freetown over the past months, if there’s one thing that remains unchanged, it’s  Sierra Leone’s commitment to Africana Friday.  Saidu is one of the Ebola isolation unit cleaners, he had just changed out of his sweaty old scrubs and was relaxing in his favourite Africana two piece when I spotted him.

IMG_3417This ensemble was given to him by his uncle and he says, “It’s a lot cooler than PPE and the design is more stylish as well”. Couldn’t agree with you more Saidu.

The job of a cleaner on the isolation unit is not easy, it’s tough on those wards and keeping them clean involves a lot of physical work all while being dressed in a stifling plastic suit. It is also extremely risky because you are dealing with highly infectious bodily fluids. “I’m not scared though, I am protected and I know how to be safe”. Saidu is trying to save the money he earns as a cleaner to further his education and plans to study economics when university in Sierra Leone resumes. “I would also like to buy some more clothes, some more Africana trousers would be very nice”.

For a compelling peak into the dangerous world of an Ebola isolation unit cleaner, check out this video created by award winning film maker Mike Duff.

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  1. This is great article, I know Saidu personally, When I was at Connuaght Hospital in May 2013 with my late mother, I encounter Saidu always day or night, he helped me transporting my mom several times to the X-ray lap. May God help our mother land Sierra Leone.

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