The outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has caused great concern since March when the first cases were reported. It has affected businesses and caused travel restrictions in most countries that have been hard hit by the virus. The early symptoms of an Ebola infection include fever, headache, muscle aches and sore throat. The affected countries Guinea Conakry, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria are struggling with scant resources to control such a deadly disease. More efforts and support are considered necessary to prevent the spread to other countries that have not yet been affected. It has caused thousands of deaths yet there are reports of more infections in mainly West African countries.
In the most affected areas lack of information and sensitisation on the preventive measures has led to its rapid spread. In the three countries so far affected, health workers and clinics have come under attack from panicked residents who mistakenly blame foreign doctors and nurses for bringing the virus to Africa.
More preventive measures should be in place to prevent further spread in areas that have not yet registered Ebola cases .The WHO, UN, governments and their people are more worried about this alarming virus that has caused loss of lives. The four affected West African nations have been struggling to control the outbreak. The virus which was first discovered nearly four decades ago in Congo in a village near the Ebola River has managed to spread in West Africa with alarming rapidity, creating panic among the people of this particular part of Africa.
The governments of affected countries and the international community should come up with more preventive measures along borders and public places. Recently media reports have confirmed the outbreak of Ebola in the neighboring Senegal which has served to jog our own health ministry into action. While their surveillance and sensitisation efforts are without a shadow of doubt commendable, I would like to take this opportunity to call on them to leave no stone unturned in ensuring The Gambia remains Ebola-free.
I have gone beyond the call of duty to remind the relevant stakeholders to do more in preventing the Ebola virus entering The Gambia because it is going to have a monumentally adverse impact on the tourism industry of the country. Granted that the tourism industry is the second highest foreign currency earner apart from agriculture, the outbreak of Ebola in this country will be nothing short of disastrous.
By Ebrima Jallow
Bakau, Sama Kunda.
The destruction of Libya
Nato claimed that its intervention in Libya was a historic success. But three years later, Libya is in complete chaos. Some 1,700 militias have a combined total of 250,000 men under arms. Another external intervention seems necessary to stabilise the country. But I believe the US and Nato must never be involved. Now, the country has become lawless, most Western embassies have evacuated their personnel from Tripoli. The United States used its military presence in the Mediterranean to escort its embassy personnel and Marine guards to travel by road to Tunisia. The evacuation of Western diplomats leaving the millions of Libyans to an uncertain fate has brought to the fore the Libyan dimensions of a wider theater of warfare from Tripoli through Benghazi to Cairo, Alexandria and Gaza and from Aleppo in Syria to Mosul in Iraq. The former allies of Nato such as Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are now connected to differing factions of the Libyan civil war. In Libya, the war and bloodletting between the US supported General Khalifah Hifter and the militias supported by Qatar is one indication of former allies falling out. Citizens of the West have little understanding of the depth of the sufferings unleashed on the peoples of North Africa, Palestine, Syria and Iraq since the United States and Nato launched wars against the peoples of this region. The battles in Libya are merging with the criminal war against the people of Palestine, especially the peoples of Gaza. It was three years ago when Nato declared the end of the Nato mission, loudly announcing that the Nato mission to Libya had been ‘one of the most successful in Nato history.’ Despite this declaration of success there were clear signs of the remnants of the Nato suborned militias fighting for control of Libya. Today, that fighting has engulfed all of Libyan society to the point that the militias that had been deployed by Nato are now out of control while the funders of the militias are caught in the wider disputations over the future of Africa, Palestine and the Arabian Peninsula. Calls for the United Nations and for the African Union to militarily intervene in Libya must now be accompanied by the call for ensuring that none of the current members of the UN Security Council who were participants in the Nato intervention can be part of any UN force to demilitarise Libya to disarm the out of control militias.
Tobacco Road, Banjul]]>