Editorial, Opinion Pieces Address Issues Surrounding Ebola Outbreak
The following editorial and opinion pieces address issues surrounding the Ebola outbreak in Africa.
New York Times: New Thinking About Ebola Treatments
“A radical but promising proposal to help treat victims of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa appears to be gaining support among knowledgeable experts. … The new proposal would fill the gap by using drugs that have already been approved to treat other diseases and repurposing them to treat Ebola as well. … The World Health Organization is scheduled to hold a meeting in Geneva next week with more than 100 experts, including 20 from West Africa, to discuss potential therapies and vaccines for the Ebola virus and explore ways to expedite clinical trials and ramp up production of the most promising treatments. The meeting should be sure to consider the use of drugs that are already approved for other diseases and are readily available” (8/24).
The Atlantic: The Danger in Losing Sight of Ebola Victims’ Humanity
Raphael Frankfurter, executive director of Wellbody Alliance
“…[I]n a public health emergency of this scale and danger, patient communication and counseling can be brushed aside under the pretext of urgency. Ebola patients can be considered mere disease-carriers rather than complicated, emotional human beings — and while at the highest levels reducing transmission is the top priority, neglecting the humane aspects of care can gravely undermine the public health response…” (8/22).
Raleigh News & Observer: In ongoing Ebola crisis, emergency aid not enough
Pape Gaye, president and CEO of IntraHealth International
“When such a disaster [as Ebola] strikes, our first impulse is often to stop and see how we can immediately help. Can we send supplies? Should we send health workers or other experts? … This type of emergency aid is noble and necessary. But it is not enough. It is not sustainable. There is another vital component to international aid that is far less known — and many don’t realize that we’re on the leading edge of it here in [Research] Triangle. It’s called health systems strengthening. And it’s a very different kind of aid…” (8/24).
Bloomberg Businessweek: The Economic Case for Wiping Out Ebola
Charles Kenny, author and senior fellow at the Center for Global Development
“…Ebola helps illustrate the economic burden of infectious disease — particularly on countries in the developing world, but with affects felt worldwide. All of which suggests why increased support to fight infection in developing countries would have considerable global economic benefit. … Worldwide, infectious diseases still end about 15 million lives a year, and most of those deaths could be easily avoided. Beyond the incalculable benefits in terms of misery averted, the economic case for lowering that toll is overwhelming” (8/25).