posted on Jul, 19 2014 @ 08:58 AM
The U.N. health agency - the World Health Organization (WHO) - has its hands tied by a tight budget and its funders' political and economic agendas.
So the WHO ignored the Ebola epidemic in West Africa until Doctors Without Borders
(MSF)kicked up a major stink in the international media
- in March, MSF insisted the epidemic was out of control and they couldn't handle the
situation. After which the WHO started helping out - but by that time, it was too late. Now, West Africa's Ebola epidemic is the biggest on record
with almost 1000 cases and 613 deaths in 3 countries. Surrounding nations are on high alert. It's an unstudied new Ebola strain but authorities still
blame "local cultural practices" for the disease's spread. However, compared to other Ebola outbreaks this epidemic has a huge geographic spread
spanning three countries at least, including major hubs and capital cities. And the WHO says it's gotten too big for them to handle.
The prevailing wisdom on Ebola says it kills too efficiently to become a 'real' problem - but this new strain has a 60% fatality rate compared to 90%
- symptoms might not appear for up to 3 weeks after exposure - and the virus stays active in survivors' semen (at least) for over 2 months after
symptoms appear. Even so, authorities still insist Ebola is unlikely to spread out of Africa.
As it happens, the WHO focused on vector-borne diseases for World Health Day just as the West African Ebola epidemic was unfolding. Chronic diseases
caused by environmental contaminants were not on the list of global health priorities because acknowledging the links between environment and disease,
and identifying (the obvious) solutions, would interfere with corporations' "right to profit." Hemorrhagic fevers like Ebola were not on the list
either - because supposedly, they killed too efficiently to spread far and burned out quickly. Not much profit potential there. And besides, the
environmental links to Ebola were a bit ...uncomfortable (Ebola and other hemorrhagic fevers are clearly linked to deforestation for mining,
agriculture, etc.). So under pressure from corporate-controlled nation funders, seems the WHO was forced to prioritize diseases that promised to
generate big profits and NOT interfere with profit-seeking. Big mistake.
Is there a future for a world health agency controlled by nations controlled by global corporations? Is there any point?
OFFICIAL: EBOLA OUTBREAK TOO BIG FOR U.N.
'In my view, there's no way that WHO can respond in a way that we need it to'
(Los Angeles Times) International health officials warned Thursday that recent budget cuts have impeded the ability of the World Health Organization
to respond to the Ebola outbreak that has killed at least 603 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
“The situation in West Africa should be a wake-up call to recognize that this weakening of this institution on which we all depend is not in
anybody’s interest,” Scott Dowell, director of disease detection and emergency response at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
said during a briefing in Washington. “In my view, there’s no way that WHO can respond in a way that we need it to.”
Partly because of declining donations from member countries during the global recession, the United Nations-backed WHO has suffered a 12% drop in its
program budget in the last two years. This year’s budget is $3.98 billion.
WHO can't fully deal with Ebola outbreak, health official warns
We Are Making Ebola Outbreaks Worse by Cutting Down
ow deforestation shares the blame for the Ebola epidemic
Deforestation leads to Ebola
How to prevent the next Ebola outbreak
This outbreak appears to have been caused by a new strain of the Ebola virus. The initial response was slow, in part because medical professionals
were not expecting to see Ebola-infected individuals in a region previously unaffected. In addition, the initial victims did not have the classic
symptoms of this hemorrhagic fever...
...Strong scientific evidence points to the fruit bat as the host species for the Ebola virus. Human activities that increase exposure to fruit bats
increase the risk of Ebola outbreaks. The worst activities include widespread deforestation...
....Environmental destruction and widespread deforestation seem to constitute a common thread in causing of emergence of many of the deadliest
viruses known to humanity. Some of the world’s highest rates of deforestation have occurred in West Africa; the Guinea rainforest has shrunk to
one-fifth of its former size. Liberia and Sierra Leone are also threatened by massive forest-clearing operations. Deadly viruses such as Ebola and
Nipah emerge in human populations after widespread deforestation destroys the habitats of fruit bats...
CORRECTION: Original text wrongly stated the WHO's strategy focused on blood-borne diseases - in fact, the World Health Day campaign focused on
vector-borne diseases. Ebola is not recognized to be vector-borne.
World Health Day 2014 Focused on Vector-Borne Diseases
This year's World Health Day was a campaign to raise awareness about the threat of vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue. The goals of
World Health Day 2014 were to:
Provide communities with information on how to protect themselves against vector-borne diseases
Target families living in areas where diseases are commonly transmitted by vectors
Urge ministries of health to implement measures to improve the protection of their population
Promote improved integrated surveillance in countries where vector-borne diseases are a threat.
edit on 19/7/14 by soficrow because: (no reason given)