The West African Ebola epidemic was unprecedented in its scale: 30,000 transmissions and 11,000 deaths. Sierra Leone bore the brunt with more than 14,000 confirmed cases although, unofficially, NGOs said that it could be three times that number.
Sierra Leone’s fragile medical infrastructure buckled under the pressure. With only two doctors per 10,000 people, and trained medical staff being high among the fatalities, Medicins Sans Frontieres asked: ‘Where is everybody?’
The UK Department for International Development funded the Kerry Town Ebola Treatment Centre built by the British Army just south of Freetown. By the end of the outbreak nearly 5,000 people were dead. New Ebola cases are still occasionally reported but two main challenges the country now faces are a surge in teenage pregnancies; and coping with the stigma attached to the thousands of Ebola survivors who are often shunned by family and society.
Louis Leeson is a reportage photojournalist with a background in documentary film. He studied at the London College of Communication from 2009 to 2012 where he received a First Class BA (Hons) in Photojournalism. Louis works in the UK and internationally for feature film, editorial, and humanitarian organisations. He shoots long-term investigative projects and has covered the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone, FGM in The Gambia, and the refugee crisis engulfing Europe and the Middle East.
Louis’ work has been published in the Guardian, the Evening Standard, the Sunday Times, the Telegraph, the Mirror, the International Business Times, Al-Jazeera, Vice News, Broadly, Huck, Nowness, Grazia, Marie Claire, Save the Children, War Child, and more. Louis is represented in the by the picture agency Eyevine.