Friday, August 22, 2014

It is Time for the International Community to Provide More Aid to Ebola-Stricken Nations in Africa

Presently, only four countries, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone (as depicted in red on the map below) have confirmed cases of Ebola. But the outbreak is rapidly becoming out of control with more than 2400 cases reported. Several weeks ago, on August 3, the director of the Center for Disease Control in the United States, was quoted as saying that Ebola is “out of control” (link) at that time. Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledged that they have underestimated the extent of this Ebola outbreak in Africa in a situation assessment identifying the many reasons why the current cases are underestimated. (link) The inability of the international health community to understand this outbreak is precisely because it is out of control in the West African nations.

However this outbreak is more than an African problem. There is worldwide concern for this infectious disease. So far, no cases have yet been reported beyond the four African nations. The FluTrackers crew ( has been reporting and tracking suspected Ebola cases from media reports around the world since the outbreak began. To date, at least 36 countries (as highlighted in yellow on the map below) have had suspected cases of Ebola. Unless this outbreak is controlled in Africa, it is a certain to spread to other parts the world. It will only be a matter of time before one of the suspected cases becomes a confirmed case outside of Africa.

In a meeting in early August with the presidents of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, Margaret Chan, the Director-General of WHO, stated “this meeting must mark a turning point in the outbreak response.” (link) That didn’t happen. It is now time for Chan and the rest of the international community to provide the much-needed assistance for these countries to combat Ebola locally before it truly becomes an international problem.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.