Healthcare: the Ways to Address the Ebola Menace Research Paper

Nowadays, the world is experiencing the most widespread and influential Ebola outbreak since the first outbreak of the disease observed in 1976. The whole global community is involved in discussing the problem because of the active spread of the virus among continents.

The problem is in the fact that at the current stage, the global public cannot control the spread of the Ebola virus effectively, and there is the necessity to find the efficient strategy, according to which it is possible to stop the spread of the Ebola disease in the world. The authorities understand that the efforts of only one nation are not enough to respond to the widespread problem (Dhillon, Srikrishna, and Sachs 1409).

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Thus, can the Ebola outbreak be effectively addressed with the focus on international cooperation and the global public’s participation in researching and overcoming the issue? The research on the following question is important because the World Health Organization (WHO) labels the Ebola disease as the 21st century’s major health threat to the global community, and the search of the effective solutions to address the threat is the priority for the public (Mishra 364).

Although there are many barriers to coping with the Ebola threat in the African countries associated with social and political factors, the Ebola outbreak can be effectively addressed only with references to the international cooperation and global public’s participation because the global cooperation leads to the immediate response to new cases; to the open sharing of resources, knowledge, medicines, and technologies; to improving the health industry’s infrastructure in the countries where the outbreak started; to the governments’ collaboration; and to the improvement of global prevention campaigns.

In order to provide the context for discussing effective solutions to the Ebola menace, it is necessary to focus on the background of the problem. The Ebola virus causes the hemorrhagic fever which is not studied enough because of its complex nature, and the effective treatment is not developed or proven (Feldmann and Geisbert 850).

The global public paid attention to the problem only in 2014, when the virus was spread from Guinea to Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Senegal (Mishra 364). In August 2014, the WHO warned the global community that “the number of people affected by Ebola virus could rise to 20,000 within coming 9 months” (Mishra 364). The rate at which the Ebola disease spreads provokes concerns about the status of the pandemic.

Nevertheless, there are still debates on the necessity of the international cooperation in resolving the Ebola issue because medical workers from many countries become victims of the Ebola virus, and there are only a few positive results in addressing the disease. In spite of the fact that the WHO urged “the international community to take action to stop the spread”, there are still few effective steps taken to address the problem (Chippaux 1).

The authorities in many countries try to close their borders for migrants from the African countries and implement strategies to avoid the spread of the Ebola virus in the Western world (Cook 50). From this point, the Ebola outbreak is the issue associated with social and political factors because the absence of resources in the African countries is the social barrier to develop the effective treatment strategy, and the absence of consensus in discussing the problem at the global arena is the main political barrier to addressing the Ebola menace.

In this context, the international cooperation of authorities and medical workers is one of the main strategies to address the problem and promote global health security. Researchers state that the development of the effective Ebola treatment strategy remains to be a challenge for medical workers, and it is necessary to focus on the experience and collaboration of all specialists in the sphere (Callaway 265; Chippaux 6).

Many health care professionals cannot state what remedies can work to address the Ebola virus effectively and what strategies should be used in the African countries in order to stop the pandemic (Chippaux 2).

As a result, the issue remains to be controversial and requiring an effective discussion in order to provide the appropriate response to the problem. Still, there is a range of logical arguments in order to support the idea that the international cooperation of the authorities and the health workers’ collaboration are necessary to resolve the Ebola problem.

The first reason to focus on the global public’s cooperation in the field of health care and health security is the fact that such collaboration leads to the immediate response to new cases of the Ebola disease in different world countries because the absence of such a response in December of 2013 led to worsening the situation in the African countries. Two problems are associated with responding to the Ebola disease cases in African countries.

On the one hand, the local traditions often prevent medical workers from observing the start of the epidemics. On the other hand, gaps in reporting the disease outbreaks at the global level result in the active spread of the virus in the African countries (Chippaux 11). According to the data provided by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “about 60% of all Ebola infections in West Africa remain undiagnosed in the community with the potential for hundreds of thousands of cases by mid-2015” (Dhillon, Srikrishna, and Sachs 1409).

From this perspective, it is important to develop a policy to control reporting on new Ebola cases not only in the African but also in Western countries. Dhillon, Srikrishna, and Sachs note that “control strategies based on rapid diagnosis, patient isolation, and treatment” can reduce the transmission of the virus effectively (Dhillon, Srikrishna, and Sachs 1409).

This approach is important to observe the tendencies associated with the spread of cases and conditions which can be discussed as supporting the increases in the rates of the Ebola cases.

One of the main approaches to cope with epidemics in the African countries is the open sharing of resources, knowledge, medicines, and technologies; and international cooperation leads to addressing this requirement. The problem is in the fact that the population of the developing African countries lacks resources which are necessary to address and treat many kinds of diseases. In African countries, there is often one doctor per thousands of patients (Callaway 265).

That is why the organization of mobile laboratories in developing countries is discussed as an effective strategy to address the issue. Thus, local medical workers and WHO workers should exchange knowledge regarding local customs, high risk conducts, symptomatic treatment, and immunotherapy in order to save the lives of thousands of people around the world.

Focusing on the idea of cooperation, Chippaux notes that “social mobilization is a key component because all stakeholders should be involved to enable pooling resources and optimizing management of epidemics” (Chippaux 11). Doctors in the African countries have no resources to cope with the Ebola outbreak independently, and the assistance of specialists in the field is the main step to prevent the development of the pandemic.

It is also important to improve the health industry’s infrastructure in those developing African countries, where the outbreak started. The problem is in the fact that the universal vulnerability to the Ebola virus is a result of the inadequate state of health care industries in the developing African countries, and the international collaboration is the significant step to responding to this issue.

Developing strategies for coping with the Ebola virus, it is important to note that the improvement of the whole health care industry in Guinea, Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Senegal is the most effective approach (Enserink 84). The reason is that it is necessary not only to overcome the current outbreak but also to predict possible outbreaks in the future (Callaway 265). The international cooperation is necessary while funding the building of equipped laboratories and Ebola treatment centers in the African countries.

Transportation issues should also be addressed at the high level because patients with the Ebola disease should be “transported securely by dedicated vehicles that have protective equipment, disinfectants, and trained local transport operators” (Dhillon, Srikrishna, and Sachs 1410). The improvement of infrastructure is necessary regarding not only transportation and equipment but also regarding the medical workers’ security.

In order to achieve the collaboration of medical workers in the African countries, it is necessary to focus on the governments’ collaboration because only specialists from the developed countries can propose the effective vaccine and treatment in order to cope with the Ebola virus. Furthermore, the collaboration should include changes in the social policies regarding the status of the pandemic in the world (Morse 1070).

The problem is in the fact that authorities are focused on taking measures which “aim at minimizing the stress provoked by epidemics and avoiding panic” (Chippaux 6). Thus, the real menace of the Ebola virus is not discussed in the society. Furthermore, the authorities’ actions are often ineffective to address the issue adequately.

According to Chippaux, “the ban of gatherings and travel, border closures, police cordons, and other initiatives only reinforce distrust of people vis-à-vis the authorities and health personnel” (Chippaux 6). At this stage, national governments should share the responsibility in responding to the Ebola outbreak, and they should combine efforts in order to develop the effective international strategy to prevent the pandemic and address the global health security issue.

Dhillon, Srikrishna, and Sachs point at the former UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) as the first positive result of the collaboration of the health and governments’ authorities (Dhillon, Srikrishna, and Sachs 1411). Still, further steps on the path are necessary in order to reduce the risk of the Ebola pandemic.

The logical consequence of the mentioned strategies is the improvement of global prevention campaigns which is discussed as the final reason to support the idea of the necessary international collaboration to respond to the Ebola menace. In order to prevent similar epidemics in the future, it is necessary to develop effective prevention campaigns.

The resources and efforts of the WHO and national health authorities are important to be combined in order to achieve the goal of decreasing the global spread of such viruses as the Ebola virus (Callaway 266). According to Mishra, “the limitations of diagnostic facilities, medical care, logistic constraints along with the cultural differences and hostile environment have compounded the problem of disease containment” (Mishra 369).

As a result, international cooperation and the public’s participation can contribute to avoiding the situation when the lack of resources and knowledge becomes the trigger for the development of the epidemic. From this point, international cooperation leads to designing and implementing new effective global prevention campaigns.

The main counterarguments to the discussed position are associated with the idea that the main way to cope with the spread of the Ebola virus is the focus on closing borders. Border closures can also work along with the strategies aimed to reduce the human transmission rate with the help of limiting the number of persons who have contacts in the African countries. Medical workers in some countries have admitted the fact that they cannot handle the Ebola cases effectively due to the lack of knowledge and resources (Enserink 85).

From this perspective, it is more reasonable for the authorities to close their borders for travelers from the African countries. Nevertheless, it is possible to oppose this counterargument while focusing on the idea that to educate the health personnel in the African countries about the Ebola virus, it is necessary to cooperate with the medical staff.

The solution to the problem can be found not in concealing the origins and consequences of the Ebola disease while presenting the issue to the global public, but it is in the effective cooperation of the global community oriented to using the knowledge, skills, and experience at the global level to address the world issue (Morse 1070). That is why it is almost impossible to ignore the necessity and effectiveness of international cooperation while discussing and resolving the problem.

World health organizations, governments, and medical professionals should combine their efforts in order to overcome the challenge caused by the Ebola outbreak in the African countries because the international cooperation provides more resources for developing the effective strategy. The developed health care industries are important for nations in such developing countries as Guinea, Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Senegal in order to cope with the Ebola outbreaks.

From this point, the governments in developed countries should assist their partners in developing countries and provide enough medical resources to help health care professionals address emerging cases as quickly as possible. The problem is in the fact that governments in developing countries often fail to address an emerging health threat such as the Ebola virus because of the lack of resources.

Thus, the decision to the problem is in the effective international cooperation based on the collaboration of health workers and authorities because the advantages of the cooperation are in the immediate reaction to new cases of the Ebola disease; the effective exchange of knowledge and skills; the improvement of the medical base, equipment, and infrastructure in developing countries; the improvement of the nature of governments’ collaboration; and the improvement of the WHO’s approach to preventing pandemics in the future.

Works Cited

Callaway, Ewen. “Ebola Outbreak Tests Local Surveillance”. Nature 488.2 (2012): 265-266. Print.

Chippaux, Jean-Philippe. “Outbreaks of Ebola Virus Disease in Africa: The Beginnings of a Tragic Saga”. JVATITD 20.1 (2014): 1-14. Print.

Cook, Michael. “Ethics in a Time of Ebola”. Australasian Science 35.8 (2014): 50-51. Print.

Dhillon, Ranu, Devabhaktuni Srikrishna, and Jeffrey Sachs. “Controlling Ebola: Next Steps”. The Lancet 384.9952 (2014): 1409–1411. Print.

Enserink, Martin. “Africa’s Custom-Made Cures”. Foreign Policy 140.2 (2004): 84-95. Print.

Feldmann, Heinz and Thomas Geisbert. “Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever”. The Lancet 377.3 (2011): 849–862. Print.

Mishra, Baijayantimala. “The Threat of Ebola: An Update”. Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology 32.4 (2014): 364-370. Print.

Morse, Stephen. “Global Infectious Disease Surveillance and Health Intelligence”. Health Affairs 26.4 (2007): 1069-1077. Print.

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