NEWS

Yellowknife woman stranded in Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone

09/18/2014 09:03 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 00:58 EDT
A Yellowknife woman and her infant daughter are stranded in Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone after several airlines stopped flying to the country.

Hawa Dumboya, 28, is in Freetown, the country's capital. She went to Sierra Leone in May to complete her master's thesis. Dumboya was 16 when she and her family fled a refugee camp in Sierra Leone for Canada.

Her father Amadu, who lives in Yellowknife, never thought he'd fear for his daughter's life a second time.

"That's why I'm communicating with them every day, to make sure she's well and the baby," he said.

Dumboya's two other daughters ask their grandfather every day when their mom will return. 

Her British Airways flight would have had her back in Canada three days ago but the airline suspended its flights in and out of the country in early August, and it announced Aug. 27 it was cancelling its flights to Sierra Leone and Liberia for the rest of the year.

She now has a flight booked with Brussels Airlines at the end of the month.

"She's just sitting there waiting for that, so if anything happens to her, who do you expect me to blame," said her father.

Dumboya is staying in a tiny apartment with a cousin. The entire country is on lockdown until Sunday, in an effort to stop the spread of the virus.

"Sure she wants to get out but people are dying," her father said. "People are dying."

As of Sept. 16, the Ebola virus had killed nearly 500 people in Sierra Leone. The virus is spread through contact with bodily fluids. 

Dumboya tells her family the only person she touches is her baby. 

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