Congo pupil with Ebola nonetheless finds a approach to take exams

Claude Mabowa Sasi had misplaced his mom, a brother and a sister to Ebola. As a substitute of fearing dying when he, too, was recognized with the illness, the younger man had a unique fear: How would he full his faculty entrance exams?

It had been his mom’s best hope that Mabowa would go to school. To take action would require passing the secondary faculty baccalaureate, or “bac.”

However the exams are held solely every year in Congo, and the 21-year-old Mabowa was being held in medical isolation, unable to sit down in the identical room with different test-takers.

So the medical employees members caring for him at an Ebola therapy middle run by the Alliance for Worldwide Medical Motion, or ALIMA, got here up with an answer.

They discovered a college official prepared to proctor the examination as Mabowa took it safely behind a window. The papers have been handed to Mabowa with out touching him. After ending, he held his pages up one after the other to the window so that they could possibly be photographed with a smartphone after which emailed to officers for scoring. Then his work and his pencil have been incinerated. For the oral a part of the examination, the questions have been requested of him by the glass.

On Saturday, Mabowa accomplished the final of his exams. He’s awaiting the outcomes whereas nonetheless in isolation, the place he’ll keep till the virus is gone from his physique. He hopes to review political science on the College of Kisangani.

“My mom had informed me: ‘My son, you need to examine. When you’ve got your diploma, you’ll achieve life. Even when your mother and father are gone, you continue to have your life to dwell,'” he mentioned.

The Ebola outbreak in japanese Congo has killed greater than 1,700 folks because it began almost a 12 months in the past. Well being employees are racing to comprise the outbreak, making an attempt to hint, vaccinate and isolate all individuals who have come into contact with these carrying the extremely contagious virus.

The one folks allowed in Mabowa’s presence are survivors, who’re proof against the virus, and well being employees sporting protecting gear from head to toe.

Mabowa already had misplaced his older sister when he developed a splitting headache and fever and misplaced his urge for food. However since he had just lately been vaccinated in opposition to Ebola, he dismissed his signs as unwanted side effects of the shot. He lastly went to the Ebola middle in Beni when his sickness made him unable to proceed learning.

After testing constructive for Ebola, he started asking the nurses and medical doctors about how he may nonetheless take his exams. Learning was tough as a result of Mabowa not had entry to his notebooks and different supplies.

The ALIMA employees members who have been moved by his want to take his exams even introduced Mabowa a college uniform he may put on whereas taking the bac — a white costume shirt and navy trousers.

“The very fact we introduced the exams to him is a vital step for his therapeutic and restoration,” mentioned Goretti Muhumira, a psychologist with ALIMA.

The toughest half, Mabowa mentioned, was the oral exams, and never simply because he was nervous.

“It was tough for me to listen to them nicely by the glass, so that they needed to repeat themselves a number of instances earlier than I may perceive the query,” he mentioned.

Now he waits.

“I’ve not misplaced the whole lot, and I’m assured that I’ll succeed and honor my mom’s reminiscence,” he mentioned. “If she have been nonetheless right here, I feel she’d be pleased with me.”


Related Press author Al-Hadji Kudra Maliro contributed to this report.

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