Getting on my soapbox…
Doctors Without Borders is one of the very few organizations in West Africa trying to fight and contain the Ebola outbreak. As of October 29th, there have been 13,567 identified cases, and 4951 deaths. As of October, there are only 15 operational treatment centers (1,047 beds) in West Africa (only 2 are in Guinea!!!!) for THREE countries. (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/07/31/world/africa/ebola-virus-outbreak-qa.html)
Although the World Health Organization plans for 41 centers, poor infrastructure and lack of medical staffing are HUGE issues (think of the cost for equipment, supplies, etc). If this outbreak goes on with out interventions, an estimated 1.2 million people in West Africa will be infected by January 20th.
Granted, this is NOT the alarmist pandemic that the media would like us to believe. It really isn’t going to be a big issue here in the U.S. (reading fact sheets from WHO, CDC, and following Eboladeeply.org puts things in perspective). BUT, if the outbreak isn’t contained in West Africa, it will continue to persist and be a threat to the world (although this isn’t the focus of my argument).
On the humanist front, WHY ISN’T THERE MORE BEING DONE?! 9 billion dollars was pledged to Haiti on a global level to help the country rebuild after the Haiti earthquake.
Yet, it took me a bit of digging to even FIND an organization involved with the Ebola outbreak (http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/).
Let’s stop freaking out, panicking and shutting our doors in this “it’s over there, they can die, but WE MUST SAVE OURSELVES” mentality. How about we face the issue: People are dying from a horrible disease, and in West Africa, they need help and aid to contain it.
Let’s not make this an issue of shutting our borders and letting people die. Instead, let’s make it an issue of helping out and making sure this disease doesn’t come back!