It's incredibly costly to fight epidemics and pandemics, and as we're seeing in West Africa, the fight against Ebola has not been very effective.
Cases jumped to over 1300 by Wednesday, and deaths are now over 700 - the disease has spread over 3 countries and into more. Doctors Without Borders
(MSF) has been on the front lines since February - Samaritan's Purse and SIM joined later - but they're all tapped out. At this point, there are 12
CDC advisors and 120 WHO staff helping. But it's nowhere near enough. West Africa only has 2 or 3 hospitals per country
, and about 0.04 doctors
per 100,00 people.
SO. The POLL. Please choose a, b, or c - and feel free to add comments at the end.
1. Should we a) keep throwing more money at the problem, b) cut our losses, or c) wait until the epidemic is over before we go take their iron ore,
bauxite, diamonds, gold and uranium - and pray that the Ebola virus is not still in the bats or the soil or wherever it hides?
2. Should we quarantine everyone: a) who has been exposed, or b) does not have any immunity to Ebola?
3. Should we: a) cut them off and let them starve, or b) send some food aid and let the strongest ones fight over the packages?
4. Should we a) shoot anyone who tries to escape, or b) truss 'em up and take 'em back [at risk of exposure]?
5. Should we tell all the volunteers working in Africa that they a) cannot come home, b) can only come home if they don't have symptoms but must go
into quarantine to prove they're not infected [Even though just one infected person in the group is likely to infect everyone else], or c) isolate
each individual to see what happens, then treat anyone who is infected?
6. IF Ebola comes to America, should we a) isolate individual Americans who have been exposed or are infected, b) isolate communities where someone
might have been exposed, or c) quarantine every American who is not immune to Ebola?
What say you ATS?
'We Need More': Fight Against
Ebola Is Thin on the Ground
It’s the biggest outbreak ever of Ebola,... The virus is spreading out of control, according to all the experts involved, and there is no clear end
The casualties include health care workers on the front lines, most recently an American doctor and a hygienist colleague working for charities, and
Dr. Sheik Umar Khan, the doctor leading the fight in Sierra Leone, who died.
So there must be a cast of thousands in there, deploying equipment, medications and vaccines, and dispensing advice, right?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has sent 12 people. ...
They’re not treating patients — they’re providing advice.
What about the World Health Organization? That’s a big international group. (but) ... Cutbacks in international investment have forced WHO to
slash budgets. [and resources, and staff]
The rest is being covered by nonprofits, and the affected countries' health departments, which are not even close to being equipped to handle an
outbreak like this.
Ebola outbreak spotlights the limits of local and
The epidemic has highlighted a lack of resources, preparation and infrastructure at both the regional and international levels. ...
....Border closures and the shutting down of hospitals underscore the governments’ inability to respond to the epidemic. Were the state better
equipped to deal with the outbreak, anyone coming into contact with a presumed or confirmed case could be identified and isolated. The severe health
worker shortage impedes capacity to do so.
Given the shortage of health workers, it is imperative that governments protect the few responders they have on the front lines. Failure to provide
health workers with protective gear and adequate pay undermines the ability to curb the spread of the virus. The infection of health care providers
reduces the number of personnel available to treat patients, but there are also follow-on impacts: Health workers will be wary of going to work, for
example. For example, lab technicians went on strike in mid-July after the government failed to follow through on promised hazard pay for those
working at Sierra Leone’s only Ebola-testing facility.
Governments cannot effectively ramp up their capacity to provide care overnight — particularly not during the throes of the worst Ebola epidemic.
But they can improve their response by providing for those who are on the front lines and by shunning dramatic but empty gestures such as
criminalization of health care avoidance or border closures.
edit on 31/7/14 by soficrow because: (no reason given)
edit on 31/7/14 by soficrow because: redo ?s