EBOLA and DEVELOPMENT in West Africa.
The unravelling events with the doubtful zeroing of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Sierra Leone, and sisterly countries of Liberia and Guinea, leaves a lump in the throat. The mutating virus is exhibiting usual pattern of viral phenomenon in its mutative function. Whatever the outcome might be in the total eradication of the disease in the region would need serious corroborative efforts from the international community and the building of strong health institutions on the ground of these impoverished states of West Africa.
The recent United Nation’s summit in New York and in what seems to be a generous donation of funds toward the eradication of the virus is just the tip of the iceberg and it would seem a joke, if those funds as previously donated funds are going to be handled or shared by different non-governmental organizations in the guise of supplying basic supplies of personal protective gears and disinfectants is not the key solution towards the West African region of getting rid of the disease. To be equally fair to the international community it is not their responsibility in policing how the respective governments of the Mano river union of Guinea Liberia and Sierra Leone should handle their porous borders. However, the financial support should be directed towards a serious capacity building. This involves production of a serious chain of health workers that evolves from a pyramidal structure.
The necessary tools of education and institutions that ranges from a primary health care setting to a tertiary module provided. The malfunction archaic health systems should either be scrapped or revamped to modern international standards that executes more practical steps other than political appraisals. Easier said than done, as a matter of fact where we start that’s the biggest question. Let us have our statistics right by knowing our target groups from pregnancies to geriatric. A census survey would help with figures and the distribution of populations mapped out. Educating nursing aids to medico specialists provided.
The majority of the population must be massively health educated. Corroborative efforts from various community participation is more than ever needed to enforce healthy practices from the entire population. The governments of the three countries must be vigilant in monitoring the availability and distribution of health services as a first step towards reaching a healthy national target. With this awareness in place Ebola would be subdued. Agreed that various steps of lockdowns have been used to curb down cultural beliefs while this method is good on a temporary emergency basis, it should be backed by a permanent solution by a strong primary health care system that is cost effective. The capacity for secondary referral hospitals provision, would further improve the more constitutional diseases and ultimately a tertiary hospital would take care of business in its module.
Hopefully the funds allocated would be released and directed and monitored by the Mano River Union countries while the presence and guidance of international partnership ensures the building of health institutions are carried out.
Dr. Augustine Kamara