After Ebola had already spread between Guinea, Sierra-Leone, and Liberia in west Africa, WHO reportedly sent 2 doctors to deal with an unknown yet massive amount of infected people. Metabiotic, an independent company, was called on to help yet did not have the resources necessary to manage and track the outbreak, causing many cases to go unacknowledged. After makeshift clinics were resurrected to care for as many as possible, WHO required the governments to only count those diagnosed in labs in their death count.
With this action, though, WHO attempted to downgrade the severity of the outbreak. While the governments repeatedly asked for the resources necessary to contain and treat the outbreak, WHO failed to recognize the outbreak as severe as those on the ground realized it was. It was not until Ebola spread to Nigeria and involved two Americans did the outbreak get the media attention it deserved. At which point, WHO finally made as statement declaring Ebola an international health crisis, regardless of the fact that the disease had been international concern since its very beginning.
The treatment of the west Africans nations infected with Ebola was another instance of racism. The media and government agencies that were established for this purpose consistently downplayed the severity of the outbreak. While announcing a world health crisis sets the global population into a state of anxiety and duress, the ignorance of the situation is an invalidating attack on those suffering. Doctors Without Borders jumped to the aid of Ebola victims by establishing clinics and their skills and training helped keep nurses and gravediggers--those who worked with the infected people--safe. However, the clinics were filling too fast: there were more sick than room allotted. Bruce Aylward, M.D., the Assistant Director of General Emergencies at WHO, though, laments on their latent response. He states, "Liberians turned their country around. We got in there a little bit afterward and took a lot of credit."
Liz is a senior English major with minors in Spanish and Computer Science. Her research interests, like her areas of academic speciality, lie in the intersections between humanities and science. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, and playing with dogs.