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Editorial, Opinion Pieces Address Various Aspects Of Ebola Outbreak

The following editorial and opinion pieces address various aspects of the West African Ebola outbreak and the international community’s response.

New York Times: Losing the Race Against Ebola
Editorial Board
“…[Confronting the Ebola outbreak] is a task of mind-boggling complexity, requiring international assistance on a massive scale. … Faster action is desperately needed to prevent hundreds of thousands or even a million deaths” (9/26).

Washington Post: Leaving Ebola fighters behind to die
Karen Attiah, Washington Post opinions deputy digital editor

“…We cannot allow ‘medical apartheid’ to characterize the international treatment of the African medical personnel and health workers from Europe or the United States. After all, the African doctors will be the ones to be on the front lines to help their countries against malaria, child mortality, malnutrition, and other diseases that threaten African nations but not foreign workers…” (9/28).

Globe and Mail: If the WHO can’t stop Ebola, find someone who can
Derek Burney, Canada’s ambassador to the United States from 1989 to 1993, and Fen Osler Hampson, a distinguished fellow and director of global security at the Centre for International Governance Innovation

“…Noble commitments led by the United States and private foundations with a higher tolerance for risk and a stronger desire to serve are certainly better than the typical sclerotic response from agencies that slip-slide away from their intended duties. If the WHO is not up to the task, we clearly need to know why, and to determine how the world community can better manage the next epidemic” (9/26).

TIME: We Need a Global Health Emergency Corps to Fight Ebola
Jack Chow, professor of global health at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College for Public Policy

“…To counter the potency of Ebola and other powerful diseases, a new health defense strategy is needed that brings immediate, concerted interventions across whole regions. Waiting for individual governments to act alone is simply too risky. Creating a new global health emergency corps should be a top priority for world leaders” (9/25).

Epoch Times: How to Fund the Ebola Fight
Paula Kavathas, professor of laboratory medicine and of immunobiology at Yale University School of Medicine

“…One approach to fight pandemics would be to establish a fund earmarked for two purposes: An immediate-response fund would provide assistance to countries with weaker health infrastructure to fight present outbreaks while other funds would be channeled for research and development of vaccines, therapeutics, or diagnostics for emerging diseases such as Ebola, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, and Chikungunya. The United States should take the lead in establishing such a fund by requiring a tax on airline tickets for all passengers traveling in and out of the country…” (9/25).

New England Journal of Medicine: Doing Today’s Work Superbly Well — Treating Ebola with Current Tools
François Lamontagne of the Center for Research at the University of Sherbrooke, et al.

“…Although infection prevention and outbreak control are essential components of the Ebola response, they need not be at odds with equally essential syndrome-specific therapy for people who are already infected. Excellent clinical care and improved outcomes will result in improved community compliance, will help to break transmission chains, and will lead to a greater willingness of health care workers to engage in care delivery…” (9/24).

The Guardian: Liberian Senate calls for more transparency over Ebola funds
Robtel Neajai Pailey, a Liberian academic, activist, and author based at SOAS a the University of London, and Blair Glencorse, founder and executive director of the Accountability Lab

“…In West Africa, we must act now to avoid the problems of past humanitarian relief efforts. … One solution would be the immediate establishment of a centralized Ebola relief aid tracking system through which West African governments and donors would provide regular accounts of aid disbursals, in the same way that Ebola cases are reported in real time. … The government of Liberia has already begun discussions around the idea of a multi-agency special taskforce to monitor corruption within Ebola funding streams, which is a step in the right direction…” (9/26).

Bloomberg: The Magic Number That Could End the Ebola Epidemic
Tom Randall, deputy editor of Bloomberg’s “The Grid” blog

“…Despite its reputation as a killer, Ebola isn’t very good at reproducing itself. The virus is spread through body fluids, not air, and it often kills patients before they have a chance to spread the disease widely. When 70 percent of patients are isolated, the disease no longer spreads fast enough to replace dying or recovering patients. It burns itself out…” (9/26).

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