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Opinion Pieces Discuss Various Aspects Of Ebola Epidemic

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

Financial Times: U.S. and Europe must lead way in tackling Ebola
Roy Anderson, director of the London Centre for Neglected Tropical Disease Research at Imperial College London and a non-executive director of GlaxoSmithKline

“…Substantial help [to contain Ebola] is needed immediately from the U.S. and Europe, in the form of field isolation and treatment hospitals, supported by trained military units working in collaboration with NGOs such as Médecins Sans Frontières. … Aid agencies must focus much more on strengthening health systems and delivery platforms, such as schools, primary health care settings and hospitals. This facilitates early disease detection and a rapid, appropriate response in the case of an outbreak. … Let us hope that placing an emphasis on greatly strengthening health care infrastructure also serves to lay an enduring foundation for the better control of the NTDs that cause so much morbidity and mortality in the poorest regions of the world” (10/9).

Huffington Post: Women Bearing the Brunt of the Ebola Crisis Must Be Central to the Solution
Katja Iversen, CEO of Women Deliver

“…Ensuring women have access to basic health care, particularly sexual and reproductive health care, have rarely been met in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone in the best of pre-Ebola circumstances, and are now even more critically important. While the world works urgently to contain the crisis and treat those infected with Ebola, we must recognize the long-term needs of the population most affected in order to help prevent further outbreaks — and that means investing in girls and women…” (10/9).

The Hill: Ebola outbreak: Putting the public back in public health
Melinda Moore, a public health physician and senior natural scientist at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School

“…What is missing [in the Ebola response] is the productive engagement of the public in this public health crisis. … Community leaders in the affected West African countries should be working to effectively raise awareness among their populations so that people will know what they can do and will choose to do it. The medical and public health systems can and will help them, but the importance of the public’s role in becoming aware and engaged in West Africa cannot be overstated. In the meantime, Americans must also be aware and act responsibly, as surely there will be more cases that will appear at the U.S. doorsteps. Everyone contributes to ‘global health security’ and must be informed and responsible in this role” (10/9).

Washington Post: America’s stake in the Ebola fight
Eugene Robinson, opinion writer

“Ebola is a nightmare disease that travel restrictions cannot keep out. The correct response should be urgent concern — not panic — and an all-out crusade to extinguish the West Africa outbreak of the deadly virus at its source. This is essentially the Obama administration’s strategy. But it needs to be explained more effectively to the public, and it needs to be part of a much bigger, coordinated effort by developed nations. … The Obama administration needs to be much better at communicating a simple fact: Right now, you and I are essentially in no danger of contracting Ebola. But if we don’t act, there will be a danger — and it won’t go away” (10/9).

The Hill: Ebola anxiety
Tara Sonenshine, former under secretary of State for public diplomacy and public affairs and an instructor at George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs

“Anxiety over Ebola is at a feverish pitch. … The good news, however, if one can find it in an otherwise dark scenario, is that health information and health diplomacy is now in high gear. … A crisis can bring out the best in people. If we work together in an informed environment, we can avoid disaster. From journalists to public health officials, we are all in this situation together. Who knows — maybe even Congress will put aside partisan differences and work cooperatively to ensure that Ebola has no place and no space to grow” (10/9).

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