Ebola is a disease ravaging lives in West Africa. How can a miracle vaccine help this crucial situation to eradicate the deadly disease? The Ebola crisis is afflicting the people of West Africa because I am directly affected by it. Even though it may seem to be a regional matter but it has a potential to affect the entire African continent and the world as a whole. It is therefore incumbent on America, the leader to the world, to have a pre-emptive strategy in helping to put an end to the Ebola epidemic that’s ravaging West Africa.
Ebola, which was called previously Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus strains. Ebola can cause disease in humans and non-human primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees). In 1976 near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is where the Ebola virus was first discovered. Since its inception, the outbreaks have hit many other African countries periodically. The outbreak this year has been the largest and deadliest in history (CDC 2014, Ebola, EbolaVirus Disease).
President Obama, in a latest response, describes American involvement in the Ebola epidemic not as only as a humanitarian effort but as a top priority for national security measures in the United States. The United States has therefore partnered with the United Nations, and many other Non-Governmental Organizations to assist the countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia (the most cases) so far, Senegal and Nigeria. (White House, Fact Sheet, 2014). President Obama proposes to use the military to combat the disease in four key areas.
The first of which will be controlling the widespread of the disease at its root. This will involve in depth studies and research that will be done to help in understanding why the disease mutates in this part of the world. The second key area will attempt to alleviate the impact of the epidemic EBOLA 3 in the economic, social and political areas in West Africa. The President will engage and coordinate with other countries to help with the disease and then, work in developing the health care infrastructure that will be available to curtail the disease should in case it returns (White House, 2014).
Controlling the disease at its root will be a daunting task taking into consideration the dynamics of West Africa. As a native of Sierra Leone, I know how defensive the locals are when “outsiders” meddle in their affairs. The culture has such a defensive posture that any slight or perceived interference is met with equal recompense. Ironically, the fear of this outbreak has forced the people to take whatever help that’s available.
There was a three day lockdown that the government of Sierra Leone implemented from sensitive the people about the disease and in my humble opinion, it has proved to work. In Liberia, USAID airlifted 50,000 home health care kits to be hand-delivered to distant communities by trained youth volunteers. In alleviating the impact on the economic, social and political arenas, the United States is encouraging other countries to not ban flights or discourage commerce with these affected countries. President Obama is engaging and coordinating with other countries to pose a united front and ownership in curtailing the epidemic.
It shows that through coordinated efforts, we can fight anything that may have a negative potential in the human family. Developing the health care infrastructure will prove to be worthwhile in the future. In this way, countries are positioned to be able to tackle any disease that may come their way but with little help from outside (White House, Fact Sheet, 2014). Healthcare workers have been very cautious in the way they had handled the situation but unfortunately the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is out of control. According to Green (2014) “Guinea is struggling to contain West Africa’s first major Ebola outbreak.
If the initial report holds, Guinea’s outbreak is already deadlier than the recent appearances of the disease in DR EBOLA 4 Congo in 2012 and in Uganda that same year. ” (p. 1). The health system in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia is not as strong as it is needed to be. These countries rely on outside medical expertise and additional resources to intervene and eradicate Ebola.
There has been a lot of volunteers which include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, National Institutes of Health, and several other foreign countries have partnership to help contain the diseases in these countries. Scientists claimed that the disease is transmitted by fruit bats. The government had strictly warned and banned the inhabitants of these countries from selling and eating bats. The virus could be transmitted through body fluids, and breast milk.
Funerals of the remains of Ebola patients is another dangerous way of contracting the virus through gatherings and body contact (Green, 2014). According to Dhillon, Srikrinshna, and Sachs (2014) “Without effective isolation, each Ebola patient is estimated to transmit the virus to around 1. 8 additional people, leading to the exponential growth of infections with a doubling time of around 20 days. ”
The best way contain the transmission of the virus is proper control strategies, proper isolation, which will rapidly contain the epidemic. It is very difficult to reach people in remote areas and so much has to be done to eradicate Ebola. This is heart breaking especially in developing countries where the health system lacks the basic resources. Ebola is a disease ravaging lives in West Africa. Even though there is an experimental drug known as Zmapp, the death rate is still high. So many innocent lives have been destroyed.
President Obama’s intervention is a huge help, while health care volunteers will take away the negative impact by containing the disease with the help of medical expertise. There must be hope that a vaccine to help eradicate Ebola will be forthcoming. EBOLA 5.
Reference CDC. (2014) Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease) Retrieved from http://www. cdc. gov/vhf/ebola/index. htm Dhillon, R. S. , Srikrishna, D. , & Sachs, J. (2014). Controlling Ebola: Next Steps. The Lancet, 384(9952), 1409-1411. Green, A. (2014).