On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention informed the world that the Ebola virus had come to the United States. For many, this intrusion may be a sign the epidemic in West Africa is expanding and may soon turn into the ever-feared pandemic. However, by taking a step back from the specifics of the case, the reality of the entire situation can be appreciated. More importantly, worry can be wrangled and panic can be placated.
Some six million children under the age of five die every year and there are still nearly 300,000 maternal deaths annually. It all comes down to the political will and necessary funds to make it happen. Canada is a recognized leader in both. In May, Canada committed a further $3.5 billion over five years to help eliminate these unnecessary deaths.
Optimism resides in Nigeria, despite the potential horrors of Ebola's global spread. Why so? As of September 23, the Centers for Disease Control has 21 confirmed cases with eight deaths in Nigeria from Ebola. That number is low. This is, in part, because childhood education is essential to the rising Nigerian economy.
In the 14th century, the Black Death wiped out a third of Europe's population -- at the time nearly 100-million people. And then there is Ebola, which has infected over 2,400 and so far killed 1,229. True, this is the largest, most severe outbreak of the disease we have seen, but that doesn't mean this isn't controllable.