Ebola outbreak in America vs. Africa
by jasminegrignon on November 10, 2014 - 9:36pm
In the article "Why is Ebola Less Deadly in America than in Africa?", published on Vox and written by Julia Belluz, the Ebola outburst in America is discussed. In addition to this, Belluz compares the Ebola outburst in America to the African situation, where people have been exposed to it for quite a while. The author begins by explaining that Ebola is a condition where people "die from multi-system organ failure" (Beluz). She then goes on by stating that we used to believe that Ebola was incurable, but that with its appearance in America, we have realized that it is, in fact, treatable. Ever since its arrival in the U.S., nine people have been affected by this disease, but only one person has died from it. In comparison, 70% of the Ebola victims in Africa end up facing death. When looking at these stats, an interesting question comes to mind: why is it that Americas are able to be cured from this illness, but that Africans cannot? The answer is quite simple. In the process of treating Ebola, the quality of nursing makes the difference between life and death. Evidently, African victims do not have access to the right medical assistance. First of all, there are very few doctors in Africa. Statistics report that in some African countries, the number of doctors out of 100,000 people can be as low as 1.4. On the other hand, in America, there are about 245 doctors per 100,000 people. Secondly, the few doctors and nurses in Africa do not work in a safe environment, which makes it quite easy for infections to spead. In fact, one of the nurses in Monrovia confessed that in an entire day, she only has access to five pairs of gloves. In other words, it is very common for a nurses to perform on patients with their bare hands. Based on these facts, Belluz claims that Americans are focusing on the wrong country when it comes to the Ebola epidemic. The ethical question addressed in this article is as follows: "Is it ethical for Americans to help Ebola victims in America before helping those in Africa?" The bigger question though, is, "Are we more ethically responsible to help people who find themselves to be in our local area, who live in a distant country, or both?"