“Outbreak of Ebola has Ended, WHO Says”
Congratulations to the WHO foundation for successfully ending the transmission of the Ebola virus outbreak. On Friday January 15, 2016 Dianne Searcey, Nick Cumming-Bruce, and Clair Macdougall released an article in the New York Times explaining the global success and epidemic relief in West Africa. “The World Health Organization declared on Thursday the end to the deadliest Ebola outbreak on record” they announced. After two years of intense study and aid in West Africa many of the countries are finding with continued care comes continued relief and now Liberia is able to partake of this solace. However, on January 19, 2016 I researched further information, online news explained the outbreak has not been officially terminated. In fact, the same day it was announced it ended, another woman died from the virus. Reading about her case I was taken aback by the aid she received in one of her local hospitals. The professionals did not diagnose her with Ebola even though she showed signs of the disease, and proceeded to release her home, therefore spreading the virus among those within close proximity. I am lead to believe there is a problem just as great as the virus itself that needs to quickly be addressed, this being the education of the people, specifically those who administer aid.
I have experienced third world living conditions before and I have seen their medical facilities. There is an obvious concern for the lack of hygiene and care at local hospitals. I fully understand those people do the best they can given their circumstances, but I believe if this epidemic is going to be permanently cured, physical aid is not enough, educational aid needs to begin. If the people in West Africa are uneducated about this disease, its forms, treatments, and transmissions, how will they be able to act quickly if a case should arise? It is not enough for them to continue to rely on the foreign assistance they have received. I believe in order for this country to become sustainable and keep the virus under control they need to learn how to recognize and stop it. I am not saying WHO needs to withdraw their resources from the country or leave if they are in an unsteady state, but the medical workers in Africa need to learn about what they are fighting. If WHO is at a point where they are trying to manage continuing risks of new infections, then I believe they need to begin to manage the knowledge of the people.