West Africa is in a delicate spot right now battling with the Ebola Virus Diseases which has infected hundreds and trying to get international help all to make sure that it does not spread any further is the focus right now.
Over the weekend, Nigeria recorded a breakthrough when the Minister of health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, told reporters that the first Nigerian Ebola patient has been asked to go home after all the necessary medical examination has been carried out to confirm he was virus free.
A vaccine is set to be developed by Nigerian scientists, but the minister said that it could not be used yet because it has not met the requirement of international health research ethic code.
The rest of Africa is in a frenzy on how to contain the virus, most public places has been shut down in Liberia.
Ghana’s tertiary institutions are yet to open but Guinea, where the virus first sprung up in West Africa, said it had brought the outbreak under control.
However, Guinea is worried that a poor response to the epidemic by its neighbours could reverse the process.
The rest of the world is conscious of the deadly virus.
One common feature in the West African countries affected, is the establishment of isolation centres, where infected patients can get the help they need.
But now that health workers are just at risk as the patients themselves, extra care is required at the centres.
In Lagos the only state in Nigeria with reported cases of Ebola, which has the highest number of persons under surveillance, the government’s call for volunteers has received little response.
Lagos State may have had the quickest response to the presence of Ebola, but Nigeria’s West African neighbours, not so much.
Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, said last week that the country’s resources were being geared towards combating its spread, however, it feels like a drop in the ocean. During an interview with CNN, she called on the international community to come to Liberia’s aid, as this is already a global problem.
Her words may have been echoed by Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma, who on Friday, called on the world health organisation, to do more to fight the disease.
More than 1,000 people have been killed by the virus, and over 300 of them have been from Sierra Leone.
“It is an extraordinary situation and we all agreed that we would require an extraordinary response,” Bai Koroma said.
The worst affected countries are recovering from a decade of civil wars and their health systems seem overwhelmed. Liberia is said to have one doctor, for every 70,000 people, Sierra Leone, one for every 45,000 compared to one for every 360 people in Britain, and one for every 410 in the United States.
Sadly, medical charity, doctors without borders, do not have good news on the containment of the virus.
International President of Medecins Sans Frontieres, Joanne Liu, said at a press briefing on Friday, that it will take about six months to bring the epidemic under control in west Africa.
But he stressed that the key was to stabilise Liberia, which would in turn stabilise the whole region. it however comes with great responsibility.
“We need as well, people, I would say with hands on operational mindset for disaster management,” Liu said.
For the rest of the world, prevention is key and that includes sounding an alert on travel to nationals planning trips to Ebola hit countries.