Title: We Are Not Winning The War On The Ebola Outbreak!
My time in Africa highlighted to me just how little we know about the Ebola outbreak and how far it has spread. In my essay I detail the problems that the WHO are having keeping the outbreak contained and eradicating the problem. I also highlight the ways we are losing the fight against Ebola.
Whilst in Africa I couldn’t help but notice how the Ebola virus didn’t appear in isolated cases. What happens is that a village is cleared for having the disease, and then suddenly a lot of people are infected at one time for no discernible reason. It is almost as if someone throws a batch of the disease into the water supply to infect many people at once.
There are a lot of theories about why this is happening. Some say that the water is poisoned–even though tests show it is not. Some are saying the people are being infected on purpose to test vaccines and make money from selling vaccines to aid workers and the WHO. My findings indicate a very different scenario.
The fact is that African families are hiding their infected family members. They hide them mostly through fear of then being isolated from their own community. When one family member is ill, the rest of the family is spurned and even attacked and forced to leave the village and surrounding area.
That is not the only reason why African families are hiding their ill family members. There are some that believe faith in a higher power or native medicine will heal their ill, and many do not trust the health-care workers that are being sent in to help. I watched as doctors, professionals and medical staff were chased out of villages and attacked.
Health and aid workers are being attacked because they look like the bad guys. They take ill people from the village, the ill people die, they are incinerated, and the people in the village never see them again. People are giving up their family members in large trucks to be sent to quarantine, and those people are never seen again. To some African families, the health workers are nothing short of abduction crews removing beloved and ill family members.
Many family members would prefer to die surrounded by the ones they love and not in a WHO medical facility. I also found that a lot of families were distressed at the fact they couldn’t visit their ill family members and how when they gave them up to the WHO they were seeing them for the last time. Key family members have been stricken with the illness, which leaves families without a leader and without any way to make money. The situation is grim to say the least.
We cannot accurately predict the spread of the Ebola outbreak and we cannot correctly estimate how many people are still infected. There is no way of knowing exactly how many people are infected because people are going to continue hiding family members that are ill.