MONROVIA, Liberia - Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said Ebola has killed more than 2,000 people in her country and has brought it to "a stan...
The need for a harmonized communication system is paramount or infection will spread. A lack of smooth channels between departments within the hospital led to a combination of confusion and misguidance. Thanks to the whistleblowers, other secondary factors such as lack of proper equipment and disposal of medical waste appeared to be mishandled. Then there was the overall morale of those working inside, which seemed to be poor at best. While this could be expected, there was little questioning of the hospital when it apologized for its handling of the situation.
Statistically, when it comes to more Ebola cases arriving in North America, the question is not if, but when. While I still believe there is no cause for a general panic over Ebola, I feel that the approach being taken at present by our public health authorities is overconfident, dogmatic, and inflexible, with an unwillingness to consider that current containment measures may not be adequate. As a front line health care worker, I feel that my own safety is already at risk.
In Africa, Ebola and women's rights are not unrelated. As Bertha, one of the young women in the book, says: "When you educate a girl, everything changes." Everything. Among the many ugly lessons from the Ebola zone is the cost of poor primary health care, and how it is directly correlated to female literacy. We know better. From Vietnam to Jordan to Ghana, we know that frontline health care improves when women are involved. Better still if they are in charge, as professionally trained workers, and educated mothers with freedom to make health care decisions for their families.
Like a decade ago, the goal is to end the Ebola crisis and allow a nation to begin its recovery. The next step will be to re-open schools shuttered by chaos and fear, allowing the next generation of health practitioners to be educated. But success will only be achieved -- and the next crisis averted before it begins -- if we all follow the example of those Canadian children who refused to ship out of Sierra Leone until the job was done.