By Emma Black

Shadows in the Sun: Bo and Kenema Battle Yellow Fever’s Return

The midday sun shimmered on the corrugated iron roofs of Bo, casting stark shadows in the dusty streets. Amina Kallon a young nurse at the local clinic, adjusted her mask and wiped sweat from her brow. The usual bustle of coughs and sniffles was replaced by an unsettling quiet, broken only by the occasional cry of anguish. Yellow fever, a specter long banished from memory, had crept back into their midst.

It started subtly, a child in the next village with a fever, then another, and another. Soon, whispers morphed into panicked shouts, and Amina saw fear etched on every face that passed her window. The clinic, once a hive of activity, became a chamber of hushed tones and anxious prayers.

There was Kadiatu Lamina, a frail woman cradling her limp son, his once-bright eyes dull with fever. And old Musa, his weathered hands trembling as he recounted the last time yellow fever visited Bo, claiming his wife and leaving him scarred with grief. Amina, though young, carried the stories of that outbreak herself, passed down like treasured yet painful heirlooms.

The days blurred into a frantic dance of testing, administering fluids, and battling the despair that lingered in the air thicker than the humid Sierra Leonean heat. Supplies dwindled, fear escalated, and Amina felt the weight of a thousand lives pressing down on her.

But amidst the desperation, glimmers of hope flickered. Young men returned from the city, armed with forgotten knowledge of traditional remedies passed down through generations. Children, their faces painted with herbal paste, chased butterflies with surprising bursts of energy, defying the illness. And most importantly, the needles hummed, delivering the yellow fever vaccine, a shield forged from science.

One scorching afternoon, a truck arrived, its cargo more precious than gold. Boxes filled with vials of the vaccine, sent by a distant, yet concerned world. Amina and her colleagues worked tirelessly, their movements a symphony of swift injections and reassuring words. With every jab, the fear seemed to dim, replaced by a fragile hope.

Days turned into weeks, weeks into months. The cries subsided, replaced by the coughs of recovering lungs and the joyous shouts of returning health. Kadiatu’s son, weak but alive, smiled shyly as Amina helped him sit up. Musa Lamina though forever marked by loss, held a new grandchild in his arms, a living testament to resilience.

Yellow fever left its scars on Bo, etched in the memories of those who battled it. But it also left a newfound appreciation for the fragile web of life, the importance of community, and the power of science to shield them from darkness. As the sun set, painting the sky with fire and hope, Amina looked out at the children playing in the dust, their laughter echoing in the air. Yellow fever might return, but so would they, stronger, prepared, and forever marked by the story they had lived through together.

Alpha Kahim public health doctor at the Bo Government said, I can offer some general information about yellow fever in Bo and Kenema districts:

In the recent activity, Both districts have seen confirmed cases of yellow fever in recent years, with Bo reporting 12 cases and 1 death in December 2022. As of January 12, 2024, there haven’t been official reports of confirmed cases in either district.

Both districts remain at risk for future outbreaks due to factors like Bushmeat consumption, low vaccination coverage, the presence of mosquito vectors, and environmental factors. And Instead of focusing on individual numbers, I encourage everyone to consider broader information about yellow fever in Sierra Leone, including:Vaccination campaigns:

The government said targeted vaccination drives are underway to increase coverage and protect vulnerable populations in both districts. And Surveillance and case management, for early detection and treatment of cases are crucial to contain outbreaks. And We will raising awareness about symptoms, prevention measures, and vaccination importance is essential for controlling the disease.

 focusing on these positive efforts and preventive measures, we can contribute to a safer future for the people of Bo, Kenema, and all of Sierra Leone.

the World Health Organization ( and the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation can provide valuable information about yellow fever.  in Sierra Leone

Amina Kallon a young nurse at the local clinic in Bo District

, A vaccine truck arrived, its cargo more precious than gold. Boxes filled with vials of the vaccine

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *