Rakesh Manchanda for BeyondHeadlines
We are connected. All of us on this sole living planet. Ebola challenges the chain of survival and contacts. It shocks and wakes up humanity. Imagine a biological bomb. No one knows how to diffuse it. Those who come closer become suspects. Ebola viral multiplies and has no cure. A `saver` or life support person becomes an `enemy`. Science and humanity both stand helpless. Such is the magnitude of crisis in few West African countries hit by Ebola.
The Cure in Reel Life but Not in Real Life:
Ebola outbreak is real. Not a 1995 Hollywood film-`Outbreak` based on a Medical Disaster, inequality and bribes in a system. In Outbreak, the American hero- Dustin Hoffman explores a cure for the fictional Ebola type virus (Motaba) that instantly cures. It is not strange that a Viral as a War has raged on for over past 40 years in poor African countries with no cure. Today rich countries with Business in Ebola countries are ready to spend thousand times. Reason? Ebola instead of money flow has crossed Africa and reached their doors.
Real Life: What Goes Wrong in Ebola Control?
Ebola a 40 years bedrock with more than 24 tides sustains due to unequal global treatment expenditure. US spends $8,362 annually per person on health while several poor countries hardly spend 12 dollar to 20 dollar per year per person.Ebola control requires at least one million dollars each day for safe screening of a hospital of say 70 beds. Every country wants to do business for profit with West Africa but no one dares to improve standard of human living. It there are 26 doctors on each 10,000 people in safe US then there is one less than one doctor in several African countries.
American Researchers demand $1 billion for breakthrough and has got a third of it in actual paid donations from all the nations. Question remains as to why do it cost $1 billion to develop an anti-Ebola drug, while India or Cuba can easily be encouraged to achieve the breakthrough on the same health indicators and molecules by spending 40 times less.
How America Differs from Africa in Death Rate Race?
Death rate for Ebola suspects in W Africa is approximately 75 per cent while Ebola death rate in US is 11 to 20 per cent .America announced two Ebola death with ten patients under treatment. One Ebola case airlifted to US died had his diagnosis severely delayed and the treatment came too late. Why different death rates when all share the same virus on the same planet? US annual expense on per person health is almost 800 times more than the poor countries.
How doctors stand divided on Isolation of 21 days?
Many Ebola health workers who return back to US are imposed with quarantines of 21 days. Suspects never volunteer themselves for Ebola test while Ebola will continue to find its own hidden ways to spread. Global healthcare lobby clearly stand divided on 21 days. Question which authorities dodge is why not 22 days why only 21 days? Doctors feel it needs courage and conviction to handle and test Ebola suspects.Few revolt stories and strikes are spilling out when health workers are put to 21 day isolation.Red Cross as media puts admit that 60 percent health workers after visa do not `show up` to travel to Ebola hit countries due to family pressure.
U.N.Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently warned against “unnecessarily” strict restrictions on the movement of health workers who have been fighting the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa while putting their lives at risk.
Ebola 21 day isolation generates anger and frustration among suspected poor travellers who complain about detention, bribes and harassments as seen on Social Media.
What is the `chain of contact` in Ebola Control?
Chain of Contact as put simple by WHO is the contact of new persons with the effected person. The only way to stop Ebola is to break the chain of contact. On ground zero it is difficult one victim can affect hundreds of connected supporters in the chain of suspicion.
Lasting impact on Global community once Ebola spread is over?
West Africans are strong people and will definitely bounce back after this disaster. What may remain will be the global emphasis on hygiene and Toilets with real need to reduce gap between rich and poor and between countries. Ebola opens the collective human opportunity for an ultimate test of hygienic practices of washing hands, having clean water, hygienic toilets and prompt cremation.Politicians in developing countries are clever. They grab Ebola global opportunity to become poster boys of cleanliness with no roadmap for garbage recycle, dignity of work and wealth distribution.
Ebola hasn’t resulted in total societal breakdown with hope it never will win. In the past Ebola bounced back with 24 outbreaks was limited only to Congo near River Ebola. Only 1716 cases were detected from 1976 to 2013 in West Africa. Today in 2014 Ebola has put more than 14500 suspects/confirmed with 10166 as Laboratory confirmed cases after 21 day isolation. Death toll is around 5177 and is still counting. `Hit` suspects are `mobile` with faster modern travel facilities. So outbreak spreads faster in 2014.
Funds for cure and research in time can help outsmart this deadly viral once it slows down possibly near Christmas as stated recently by Dr. Peter Piot co-founder of Ebola Virus in 1976.
[The author has worked in African countries since 2006 as Director-Grafax Cotton Pvt. Ltd. and had been supporting International Red Cross and other NGOs as volunteer on Basic and Advance Life Support.]