Ebola is an incredible humanitarian crisis. There need not be hysteria, but there has to be continued information and awareness raised about the issue. If you read the news about it, professionals in the field of healthcare, science and research say they have never seen anything like it.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the current outbreak of Ebola is “largest and most complex” outbreak of Ebola since it was discovered in 1976. The current crisis started in Guinea and spread to Sierra Leone and Liberia in Africa. Currently, there is a patient in a Texas hospital being treated for Ebola and a nurse in Spain was the first person infected with Ebola outside of West Africa.
In order to contain this, a surge by world governments, non-profits, healthcare professionals and others is required. Currently, Ebola is steps ahead of the efforts to try to prevent the spreading of this virus. In August the WHO stated that approximately 10% of the cases and fatalities with Ebola were healthcare workers. They also said that in some of the hardest hit areas there were only one or two doctors available for every 100,000 people.
Language barriers and misinformation against healthcare workers has made containing this monster more difficult in West Africa. In the meantime, efforts underway include seeking more volunteers to help people in affected areas, raising awareness around the need for money, supplies and resources, education with respect to what Ebola is and how it can be contracted as well as the creation of practices and protocol policies related to dealing with people suspected of having Ebola or having died from Ebola.
Recently, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledged $50 million to this humanitarian emergency. Other organizations are stepping up to lead the philanthropic efforts to fight this deadly disease, including Partners In Health, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, and Doctors Without Borders.
Americans donated over $730 million to Japan in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that damaged the nuclear plants in Fukushima. The world donated $7 billion to the countries affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, and it gave $9 billion to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. What this says is that countries and people can be incredibly generous to people in need during a crisis, and that is what we need now as well.
The World Health Organization has stated they will need at least $1 billion to fight Ebola. Based on Internet research, the best estimate that I have been able to find is that $838 million has been donated to date. As this continues to spread, more help is needed.
The US Agency for International Development has compiled a list of organizations working to fight Ebola. These non-profit and NGOs include American Red Cross, the CDC Foundation, the Friends of United Nations Populations Fund, and Save the Children.
If you are able, please look into lending your support, in whatever way possible, to help end what has been labeled as a “humanitarian catastrophe”. There are great organizations and incredible people risking their lives and they need our help.
Posted: October 7, 2014
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