The Continued Effects of the Ebola Virus
The Ebola Virus continues to cause suffering and damage to communities, as actors in the international community continue to work to stop the spread of the disease. In Sierra Leone, for example, the country “has ordered the indefinite quarantine “with immediate effect” of three districts and 12 tribal chiefdoms – a move that will affect more than one million people” (Al Jazeera, 2014). It is said that “more than a third of the population of six million, in five of the nation’s 14 districts, now finds itself unable to move freely” (Al Jazeera, 2014).
The Ebola virus is still spreading, and has already taken over 3000 lives (World Health Organization, in Al Jazeera, 2014). As the World Health Organization explains, there is still so much to do to stop the spread of the virus.
There are many sad stories about the effects of the virus on families. For example, today, on September 25th, 2014, the New York Times published a photo of a son, Eric Gweah, devastated after losing his father to the Ebola Virus. And in a piece by Norimitsu Onishi of the New York Times entitled Home Deaths Spread Circle of Contagion, Onishi tells a story about a family, one of which had the Ebola virus. This family tried to get him treatment, but because of overcrowding at the health facility, he was turned away on two occasions. He ended up dying a violent death at home. And yet, such stories are common, giving the lack of facilities available.
We must remember that these viruses directly affect the lives and family relations of people, and that our attention as an international community must be to find ways to prevent viruses from spreading. Not only do the lack of facilities limit the aid response, and the number of lives that can be saved. But also, as Onishi points out, by keeping members at home, this could further spread the virus. Thus, it is crucial that the world community makes this a top priority in their international relations. Yes, there are many issues which are receiving attention, but that should not in any way minimize the efforts, resources, and multilateral state cooperation efforts in the fight against the Ebola virus. They should make is a continued top priority at the United Nations, and within various regional international organizations. Moreover, NGOs must continue to coordinate their response efforts amongst one another, and within local communities where the virus is present, or where individuals are at risk.