Many people say Ebola is worse than war. It is an enemy that can't be fought with guns and ammunition. So how do we fight Ebola?
As I read about the Ebola crisis, two recurrent underlying themes come to mind. These are poverty and lack of education. There is severe poverty in West Africa. According to an article, ambulances are so rare in parts of Sierra Leone that sometimes people die waiting for them to show up. This lack is because the government does not have enough money to provide for more ambulances. In parts of the world where there is a lot of poverty, individuals have a hard time accessing facilities that might help them fight Ebola, and even might have difficulty asking for assistance if one they know falls ill. For example, if a person lives just 50 miles away from an Ebola treatment center, and they have no way to contact the authorities, they will just stay where they are, whether he/she is in a shanty, house, or a tent.
The lack of education is the second major theme greatly influencing the outcome of the crisis. Education concerning Ebola was severely lacking at the onset and as a result, it spread like wildfire. Education about diseases such as Ebola is extremely important when it comes to fighting it. In West Africa, very few individuals are educated in depth about this disease. Therefore, they may have to wait weeks until enough doctors come from abroad to help in the fight, and by then, Ebola will have become ingrained in the population. To help, even in a small way, is a great gift to those suffering in West Africa.
Dense population is another key factor that comes into play in the fight against Ebola. Most of the time, people cannot pass by each other without brushing shoulders, and in the case of a highly contagious disease like Ebola, this might prove to be deadly. Someone might pass Ebola to a family member. Then that family member might go to the market to buy food. Next thing you know, Ebola is going rampant in that village.
A final issue underlying the above is in eliminating the extremes of wealth and poverty. According to an online Guardian article, wealth is accumulated in 1% of the world population, while 99% suffer from a lack of access to necessities of life. This extreme is expected to get worse. These extremes of wealth and poverty hinder the treatment of Ebola because the treatment centers in West Africa do not have enough access to what they need in transport, health facilities, access to education, among others services. The wealthy need to realize their responsibility to the poor and fund Ebola treatment centers. There should be no more inequity in access to knowledge, food, and facilities. In this way the extremes of wealth and poverty will vanish and Ebola will bother us no more. In fact, these extremes affect so many issues throughout our world. As Ghandi once said: “The earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed”. Eliminating these extremes is a key element in making the world a better place. Let's get our generation to work towards doing something about this. This is just another thing Music without Borders aspires to do.
— By N. B. M.
What do you think "One World" means? Stick figures standing on the globe holding hands? Or is there a better way?
They risked and persisted, sacrificed and saved. Editor Nancy Gibbs explains why Ebola Fighters are TIME's choice for Person of the Year 2014. http://time.com/time-person-of-the-year-ebola-fighters-choice/