Middle age patient with Ebola like symptoms being transferred to isolated wing of the hospital at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital Eldoret
As if warning us to be prepared, ever since Ebola was first reported in 1976 several outbreaks have occurred mainly in West African countries. Unlike the current outbreak, the previous incidences were largely localised, relatively smaller in magnitude and were quickly contained. The problem is back on a scale that threatens the whole globe with human mortalities and economic fatalities. This begs the question: Did we heed the warnings and learn the lessons from past Ebola and other disease epidemics recorded in history? Many a times it's back to business as usual and focus goes to Infrastructure, because that is what is politically visible.
We are lucky that Ebola doesn't have a vector despite it being highly infectious through contact with body fluids from an infected person or animal. The world is still grappling with other vector-borne diseases like malaria, dengue fever, sleeping sickness and yellow fever, which have been around for much longer and claimed millions of lives and jailed millions of people to perpetual poverty.
This is an immoral negligence which the contemporary globalised world can longer turn a blind eye to, as all lives are equal. Neglected zoonotic diseases like trypanosomiasis have a more negative impact as they kill humans and their livestock slowly and affect the entire social system chronically. Trypanosomiasis can decimate the entire dairy and tourism industries.
Infectious diseases and their vectors don't respect geographical boundaries and need no passport at our ports of entry. This is a lesson that animal and human health sector managers must learn from the current Ebola outbreak, which the WHO has declared a global emergency. The world is not safe as long as one of us is sick or a disease vector still lingers in our neighbourhood. This calls for combined national, regional, continental and global interventions that apply multi-sectoral and trans-disciplinary approaches rolled into one huge movement. It was through such interventions that saw the world rid itself of diseases like smallpox and polio before its re-emergence.
It is upon
As the globe switches its focus to Ebola, it shouldn't lose sight of the orphaned but fatal diseases it has christened neglected tropical diseases.
Most Popular Stories
- Toxic Algae Threatens Florida Fishing, Tourism
- Hispanic Groups Lead Voter Registration Drive
- Fed Signals It Will Keep Key Rate at Record Low
- Eva Mendes Gives Birth to a Baby Girl
- Plus-Size iPhones Live Up to The Hype
- FedEx Adding 50,000 Holiday Jobs
- Stocks Rise Before Fed Statement
- Occupy Wall Street Buys Up Student Debt
- Cool Features on Today's New iOS 8
- Kohl's Hiring 67,000 for the Holidays