“We’ve had some people who recovered come to church to talk to people…addressing the problem of stigma, to help people understand just what their experience was.” Father Pottenplackal said. “There were some who shared very touching and moving experiences.”
Another common misperception, based on the observation that many people go to Ebola treatment units or hospitals and end up not coming back, has led to some families keeping the sick in their homes. And that has led to entire families becoming ill and dying.
"But that’s changing because more people are recovering," Father Pottenplackl said.
There’s another way the Church is helping. Many of Father Pottenplackal’s fellow Salesians are foreign missionaries who could go back home to avoid possible infection.
"We as a community have stayed on. None of us has run away from the country," he said. "It’s one way of communicating our closeness to people. We want to, by our witness, show them that we are with them even in this moment of crisis."
John Burger is news editor for Aleteia’s English edition.