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Irish Left Review
Joined up thinking for the Irish Left

offsite link Always the Artists: Week Three of the Bank Inquiry Fri Jan 23, 2015 03:31 | Conor McCabe

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Human Rights in Ireland
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NAMA Wine Lake

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The recent Ebola outbreak

category international | miscellaneous | other press author Thursday July 03, 2014 19:28author by SavedByFerrets Report this post to the editors

The recent ebola outbreak is unprecedented yet little is being said about it in the media and little in the way of resources are being allocated to it's containment compared to what is being spent for example, in stoking up war in the middle east and Ukraine. The disease is highly contagious and kills 90% of those infected.

ebola.jpg

As you may be aware, an unprecedented outbreak of Ebola has happened in west Africa recently. Ebola is an extremely contagious and deadly virus strain with a very high mortality rate of 90% and no known cure or effective treatment.

The disease has now spread to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. There are as of this date around 760 confirmed cases. This is more than any previous outbreak ever recorded.

Yet little serious action has taken place on the part of the international community to fund the campaign to prevent the spread of this potentially catastrophic virus. Here is a quote from a Reuters article indicating the piecemeal approach to funding:

West African health ministers meeting in Ghana to draw up a regional response mixed appeals for cash with warnings of the practices that have allowed the disease to spread across borders and into cities.

Abubakarr Fofanah, deputy health minister for Sierra Leone, a country with one of the world's weakest health systems, said cash was needed for drugs, basic protective gear and staff pay.

Sierra Leone announced on Wednesday that President Ernest Bai Koroma, his vice president and all cabinet ministers would donate half of their salaries to help fight the outbreak, though the total amount of the donations was not disclosed.


article here:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/02/us-health-ebo...40702

As you can tell, ministers donating their wages will not cut it in a serious situation like this and co-operative co-ordinated and decisive action by the international community is needed.

We have all experienced the hysteria and hype of the swine flu recently where every single media outlet was baying for action daily. Despite all this hype, the rate of spread of swine flu due to air travel etc was still breath taking once it got hold in large population centres. Measures to limit it's spread were completely ineffective. Now that was, as it turned out, a rather weak strain of flu with low mortality rates.

So how come when it comes to a highly transmissable virus with no known cure or effective treatment and a 90% mortality rate, that the world remains mute on the subject? Is it because the profit motive from Tamiflu or vaccination sales is absent and the pharmaceutical industry and it's hype machine is accordingly uninterested in promoting it?

But the real difference here seems to be that corporations cannot sell us anything. They have no cure, vaccine or effective treatment. Zip.

Or maybe the horrible deaths of African people just don't really matter at all to the west and only serve to open up areas of the continent for cynical resource exploitation in the future?

Even the wikipedia article on the subject is unintentionally tinged with racism:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebola

We, as an international community need to get the finger out here and provide sufficient funds and resources to help to these affected countries immediately. We seem to have no problem when it comes to providing military aid to destroy countries like Syria, Afghanistan, Libya or Ukraine, so it's not as if we can't afford it.

Failing to do so may come back to haunt us far worse than a few Jihadists with rifles. It would do us good to remember that Spanish flu killed far more people than WWI did. An estimated 50 million died worldwide from flu as compared with 20 million from the war itself. And that was with a mortality rate of just 10% or so

Full story here:
http://news.sky.com/story/1293274/ebola-outbreak-state-...eeded

author by SavedByFerretspublication date Mon Jul 07, 2014 20:11Report this post to the editors

Goods article here on the outbreak
http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/07/we-are-m...worse

 
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