Liberia is the oldest independent nation on the African continent and has an estimated population of over four million inhabitants. Given the countries grandeur and independence, it comes as a great surprise that women and young girls are still subject to gender inequality and suffer severely from hunger and poverty.
"You put bad things in and good things come out."
In a film that makes such a poignant case about valuing the perspectives of those seldom considered (children in general and children caught in the midst of conflict in particular), it appears to fail at achieving just that -- for Africans.
Canada panicked. But unlike other countries, we overreacted. Our mantra -- better be safe than sorry -- actually made us less safe and continues to make us sorry. To explain, lawyers like myself have argued from the beginning that Canada's visa restrictions were illegal.
Even when Ebola is finally contained, the reality is thousands of people will continue to face hunger and malnutrition leading to death for months, if not years. While they won't succumb to the disease itself, they'll still experience hunger because of the effects of an Ebola epidemic.
The Ebola epidemic is far from over. At this time children are severely affected both by the disease itself and the other sequelae that tragedies such as infectious disease and war leave behind. These children are in need of not just a biomedical approach to Ebola but a "whole-child" approach that addresses other issues that affect child wellbeing.
"It's a measure that basically goes back to the Middle Ages. It's a reflection really of ignorance and panic," said Dr. Richard
As Liberians and other West Africans bravely struggle to contain Ebola, Canada's foreign engagements are shifting away from they types of initiatives that could help prevent such an epidemic. Working with countries like Liberia to strengthen health systems does not seem to be in Canada's interests any longer.
The declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern over Ebola is one of the world's most important actions although people may choose to see it differently; the situation requiring its call may lead to fear and panic. But, the only reaction should be resilience.
When it comes to the introduction of foreign deadly diseases, Canada need not worry. Due to the experience of one unexpected surprise, the SARS outbreak of 2003, and the resultant Commission that followed, Canada went from being unprepared to ready for anything.