A healer claiming to have special powers to cure
Ebola Virus Disease has been identified as the cause
of the virus’ deadly outbreak leaving hundreds of
people dead in Sierra Leone.
According to the country’s health officials, the
outbreak should not have spread from Guinea to the
country except for the herbalist in the remote
eastern border village of Sokoma.
“She was claiming to have powers to heal Ebola.
Cases from Guinea were crossing into Sierra Leone
for treatment,” Mohamed Vandi, the top medical
official in the hard-hit district of Kenema, told Agence
“She got infected and died. During her funeral,
women around the other towns got infected.” The
herbalist’s mourners fanned out across the rolling
hills of the Kissi tribal chiefdoms, starting a chain
reaction of infections, deaths, funerals and more infections.
A worrying outbreak turned into a major epidemic
when the virus finally hit Kenema city on June 17.
An ethnically-diverse, Krio-speaking city of 190,000,
Kenema already has the highest incidence of Lassa
fever, another viral haemorrhagic disease, in the world.
Last week Saturday, the founder of the Synagogue
Church of All Nations, T.B. Joshua, one of Nigeria’s
controversial and richest preachers according to
Forbes, announced that he sent more than 4,000
bottles of his powerful anointing water, which users
claimed had worked many miracles, to help victims
of the deadly EVD in Sierra Leone and Liberia.
“Prophet T.B. Joshua announced in The SCOAN
Saturday Prayer Line that 4,000 bottles of New
Anointing Water have arrived in the nation of Sierra
Leone, alongside $50,000 in humanitarian aid, to
support the ongoing crises there caused by the
disease of Ebola,” stated a post on the Facebook page
of TB Joshua Ministries.
“The Anointing Water was sent in a private jet that
cost an additional $50,000 to charter, making $
100,000 given by Prophet T.B. Joshua and the
Emmanuel TV Partners to reach out to the troubled
nation,” it added.
Joshua claimed on the church’s website that God was
powerfully expressing himself through the “Anointing
Water” he distributed.
“By using the Anointing Water, you are symbolically
setting yourself apart for Jesus Christ’s special
attention as you pray in faith. I mean, you are
positioned for mercy, favour, healing, deliverance,
blessing, prosperity and fruitfulness,” Joshua said.
The virus is highly infectious through exposure to
bodily fluids, and its early rapid spread in West Africa
was attributed in part to relatives touching victims
during traditional funeral rites.