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Ebola Outbreak Draws Attention To Need For Better Health Care System

The Guardian: Ebola epidemic heightened by poor facilities and distrust of healthcare
Matthew Clark, director of The Welbodi Partnership

“In June and July approximately 5,000 women and children in Sierra Leone died of diseases. The vast majority of these deaths were avoidable. … The Ebola outbreak in the country killed 233 people during the same period, and the story made headlines around the world. Why do the relatively small number of people dying of Ebola occupy the world’s media while the thousands of women and children who die of other illnesses barely get mentioned? Is it an attempt to raise awareness, mobilize resources, and halt the epidemic? Or is sensationalism to blame? … Let us hope Sierra Leone never has to tackle another Ebola outbreak. But it would be foolish to assume that the future does not hold similar challenges, be those infectious disease epidemics or a surge in the burden of non-communicable diseases. There is one lesson we should learn from the Ebola outbreak: protecting the health of the poor requires an effective and accountable health care system” (8/13).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.