Thursday, 2 October 2014

Liberia and West Africa's hell with Ebola




Of the West African countries experiencing the most chaos with the virus, Liberia has seen its society and people from the elderly to the babies being destroyed by Ebola. Although Ebola began in Guinea and jump to Sierra Leone, Liberia has bore the brunt of the dead. Elementary schools to universities and offices remain close. The government has insisted it has done all it can to prevent the virus from wrecking havoc on the country. Medical doctors and nurses from Liberia, Sierra Leone, US and other countries are equally fighting and succumbing to the virus. The protective biohazard gear suits are not accessible to every doctor or patients Burial teams are doing their best to keep their cool and avoid exposure despite preventive health measures by doctors and ordinary people. Fear still reigns supreme concerning preventing Ebola in Liberia particularly in the countryside where it has destroyed families, isolated neighbors and led some people to flee their towns and villages for refuge in a Ebola free environment. Families are still afraid to report or test for Ebola if they come in contact with a person who may have the virus but not show early signs. There are some patients who do survive Ebola and its isolating effects to joy of family members and wider society. Ebola survivors in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria have shared their own life changing experiences with wider society. Ebola has remained the whole world that Globalization has made pandemics and dieases everyone's business. No longer are they isolated.

 Ebola Outbreak: Risk of an airborne contagion?

Grim death toll and people's panic

Over 3, 000 people have died in the Ebola effected countries in Mano River Union and Nigeria. Its higher than the number of dead from the recent Gaza bombing or from Sept 11th attacks. Liberian deaths are up to 500+ while Guinea has seen half its infected 2000 Ebola victims succumb. Sierra Leone has seen a quarter of Ebola cases die. Doctors in all countries, border patrol and airport officials are working to prevent further spread. Some Liberians have been granted stay in the U.S. and neighboring countries such as Ghana. Most international flights to Liberia with exception of SN Brussels and Royal Air Maroc remain suspend until Ebola is completing stamped out. The same airline restriction goes for Sierra Leone, Guinea and lesser extent for Nigeria. All four countries and the wider West Africa region or ECOWAS share trade, historical and cultural connections that supersede any artificial borders imposed  by Europeans. Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast operate as one body although they are separate countries. If one country has a health problem it affects its neighbors almost instantly. A domino effect of regional connections and brotherly love. Its similar to Lebanon, Palestine and Syria. If any of Lebanon's neighbors are in a middle of a crisis, Lebanon will see the immediate consequences. With the body cut into pieces, it still tries to operate as one being despite the nationalism, regionalisms, separatism, racism, etc

Ebola patient at Texas Hospital


Rising America's blood pressure on Ebola

Now that the U.S. has confirmed that the first person to be diagnose with Ebola is being monitored in at Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Texas, the U.S. is looking at Ebola both cautious yet anxiously. The media and its pundits are rising the blood pressure of ordinary people by presenting the worst case scenario situation if an Ebola outbreak happens in the United States or any other Western country. The medical doctors in Texas, in Atlanta and Nebraska where two American doctors are being treated for Ebola have reassured the country that the U.S. "is not like Africa we have the infrastructure to deal with an Ebola outbreak." Ignorantly generalizing an entire continent down to a city never amazes the pundits.An Ebola infected NBC cameraman has been flown back to the U.S. from Liberia. The man under observation in Texas was said to come in contact with some 100 people over the previous four days. Soon after he arrived in Dallas area from Liberia, the man now known as Thomas Duncan complained to his children and girlfriend of feeling ill most likely thinking the illness was a regular fever. Rightly, Duncan went to the hospital's emergency room where he was turned away after a few examines and tests after the staff didn't see anything wrong. Four days since, Duncan is under intensive care at the same hospital. Both Ebola patients brings up a necessary question, Why would the U.S. allow travelers and flights from Liberia and the wider Ebola infected countries into the United States when neighboring Western African countries have banned travelers from the mentioned infected countries? Why can't travelers from the countries be screened for Ebola days before they leave their home countries if they are going on an international flight?

To add insult to injury, Duncan originally lied on a health questionnaire asking about contact with previous neighbors and people infected with Ebola. It brings up more questions. Did Duncan know that he had Ebola prior to his departure from Monrovia and wanted to come to the U.S. to seek quality treatment? Did he selfishly put other travelers and his family in harms way by wanting leave Liberia for what he thought would be the better treatment than in Liberia? Were the Texas doctors and ambulance paramedics too lax when Duncan first went to the hospital seeking help? Was it a smart decision to quarantine Duncan's family, other children and their families in their apartment complex with anxious neighbors? 


Hajj and restrictions on travelers from West Africa in effect


Banned from the Hajj

Even Saudi Arabia, who hosts the annual Hajj, has banned 7,000 Muslim pilgrims from the infected countries from traveling to Mecca for preventive safety. Imagine the apocalyptic scenario if a pilgrim or traveler to Mecca who doesn't show any symptoms boards a flight, arrives in Mecca or Madina and the next four days they start showing symptoms in the large ocean like crowd of people. Being ill in a crowd of 2 million people from every part of the globe is terrifying enough. But being in the same crowd with a contagious disease would be terrifying resembling a horror movie.

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