There is an adage in Igbo language…the best way to put it here is…when the heavy wind blows, it exposes the heavily feathered butt of the chicken.
This current outbreak of Ebola tests our healthcare system and preparedness levels like nothing else has in recent times.While African countries are looking outwards and clamoring for wonder drugs that seem to be able to stave off the fatalistic outcome of Ebola virus disease, they have been instructed to look inwards into their healthcare systems and take steps to strengthen it in a way that it is not easily shaken by every storm let alone wind that comes its way. In my opinion, we should also be examining our value systems.
The Ebola virus disease had already claimed over 800 lives and has been ravaging 3 countries ( Sierra Leon, Liberia and Guinea) in the past semi 5 months. However, it seemed not to get the attention of governments (indigenous and external) and people. Not until the infamous Patrick Sawyer allegedly traveled against medical advice to bring the disease into Nigeria. At-least that’s when “we” decided to take it seriously.
The level of negligence that has enabled the spread of this otherwise inefficient virus (inefficient because its life cycle from when an infected person becomes contagious to when they die is short), brings under questioning our healthcare and value system.
The fact that people or someone would knowingly endanger the lives of others by not taking the necessary precautions to avoid the spread of this deadly disease, brings our value system under questioning.
The fact that the recent outcry seems to stem from a place of selfish fear for personal safety brings our value system under questioning.
Another question however is, what kind of healthcare system do we have? Do we have a healthcare system or is it just that in title? Is our health care system about politics and selfish gains rather than the preservation of life and the elimination of needless pain, death or suffering.
I do hope that at the end of this recent outbreak, there will be reason to truly examine the deeper underlying problems in our system and efforts will be made to try to fix it.
It is not just about the government, there is also a place of personal responsibility. Responsibility for yourself and those around you who may be directly or indirectly affected by your actions, inaction, omissions or mistakes.
The way this outbreak has persisted and the response to it in my opinion, has exposed the selfish, laiz-affez, lackadaisical attitude we as a human race have to things and the way it has affected our systems