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Opinion Pieces Address Various Aspects Of Ebola Epidemic

The following opinion pieces address various aspects of the Ebola epidemic.

VICE News: Ebola Doesn’t Threaten America — Other Tropical Diseases Do
Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute

“…[W]hile there won’t be Ebola epidemic in the U.S., I am very concerned about the neglected tropical diseases now affecting the U.S. Gulf Coast. They’re widespread, but because they occur predominantly among Americans who live in extreme poverty, very few people know about them. … This year, the End Neglected Tropical Diseases Act (HR 4847) was introduced in the U.S. Congress. The bill represents an important first step toward tackling neglected tropical diseases abroad and at home. But we need even more help” (10/2).

CNN: Ebola and health care’s ‘Achilles’ heel
Ashley Judd, advocate and global ambassador for Population Services International (PSI), and Karl Hofmann, president and CEO of PSI

“…The United States has a strong health system and trained health workers who can efficiently and effectively contain Ebola. This is good news for America, but what about the rest of the world? In fact, the devastation of Ebola highlights an urgent global crisis that, as we now see, can reach into the United States: Across the world, there is a shortage of 7.2 million health workers. … With a health workforce at capacity, we could expand our efforts to address the economic inequities that allow these diseases to take root” (10/3).

Salon: The problem with “Ebola”: The troubling, xenophobic language of disease
Randy Malamud, Regents’ Professor of English and chair of the department at Georgia State University

“…Certainly the front lines of the war on Ebola involve nurses, doctors, researchers, public health workers, the pharmaceutical industry, the U.N., the WHO, the CDC, and an array of other institutional partners and funders. At the same time, though, on a wider and more indirect cultural level, our society’s response to this global crisis is inflected significantly by how we talk about it, how we think about it, what vocabulary and terms and discourse we bring to bear on the subject…” (9/28).

TIME: Plagues on the Poor: What Ebola Can Learn From Malaria
Karen Masterson, author

“…Ebola is the newest plague on impoverished people; and now it’s the latest silo for targeted spending for drug development and delivery. But while its characteristics are far scarier than the others, Ebola has one thing in common with them all: it spreads best where people lack basic health care. Redirect global health programming to build health care infrastructure for disease prevention — not just capacity for drug delivery — and wealthy countries will get more for the money. They will also target all at once HIV, TB, malaria, the neglected diseases, Ebola, and the next scary infectious disease to emerge from the caves” (10/2).

GlobalPost: Lessons from FDR can help regain public trust during Ebola crisis
Juliet Sorensen, professor at Northwestern Law School

“…In Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea, the countries most affected by the Ebola virus, trust in government by the governed was low when the Ebola outbreak began early this year. Lack of deep trust was the result of decades of corruption and illicit financial outflows, and has grown along with the spread of the disease. … In plotting the long road to recovery from the Ebola epidemic, how can governments win the confidence of their people? To start, governments should publish accurate health budgets and related financial information … Health workers and other government employees must be paid a living wage … Democratic governance free from corruption and patronage at the local level, as well as the national level, can yield leaders that inspire trust. Leadership of frankness and vigor has been sorely lacking for too long in West Africa. Now it is needed more than ever” (10/2).

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