EBOLA – WHO CARES!

EBOLA-master675I shudder to mull over an Ebola case being reported in Kenya, thanks to our porous borders and laid back reactions, God should forbid this. Kenya media has been reduced to a mere spectator only reporting on the new cases and deaths. I have not heard of any sensitization from the many channels or papers I have flipped through so far. The World Health Organisation has declared an international public health emergency. Last night there were reports of a suspected case at Kenyatta National Hospital, though the news were rather hazy with no results from KEMRI released 5 hours later, way before I even penned this article. However it was good news when a passenger en route from Liberia to Uganda, who had been put in isolation with fever, tested negative. Am not sure if the results are final since am made to understand the outcome reports are shipped to America for confirmation.

Kenya Airways has not yet halted flights to West Africa where the outbreak was first reported, it has killed 960 people, this year alone. The anxiety is obvious after KQ insisted it won’t cancel its flights even after the big players like, British Airways, Emirates and others withdrew their services to contain the menace. Guinea has been the worst hit with 367 deaths, followed by Sierra Leone and Liberia reporting 298 and 294 deaths respectively. 2 people have died in Nigeria. Speaking of Nigeria, president Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency a day after his counterpart, president Ellen Sirlief of Liberia made a similar declaration. As Nigeria set aside $11.7 million for emergency funds, Liberia president warned, extra ordinary measures were needed for the very survival of the state.

But an uncharacteristic Obama termed it premature to send experimental drugs to victims in Africa. Really! Did he just indirectly imply that the poor should bury their people.I do no want to castigate the just concluded Africa-US partnership Summit, but I must put it on record, that for far too long, the West have perceived Africans as lesser human beings. Ponder this, two US citizens infected with Ebola were cured with a secret serum as Africans continue to die like flies. Did any of the invited president challenge America to do more in terms of financial and medical support. Do they even care or was it another cajole attempt from the big brother for its selfish gains, well it could have also been a rare holiday trip and photo expedition as some twitter streets put it. A section of respected medical pundits have argued in favour of US saying the drugs used to treat the said Americans were ‘experimental drugs’. I ask, does it matter?. If the drug can help improve a victim’s health why not administer it to them.

Take note that Ebola has a 90% fatality rate. You simply don not dance with such statistics, but who cares to listen to our pleas. We are all alive to the fact that most African countries have for a long time under invested in matters health and have no capacity to contain Ebola in earnest as developed countries would do. Traditions, religious leader,speculation, ignorance and uncoordinated efforts are some of the impediments that hamper the surmount of this life threatening ordeal. Well I managed to gather some of the signs and symptoms listed here below;
• Fever
• Headache
• Joint and muscle aches
• Weakness
• Diarrhea
• Vomiting
• Stomach pain
• Lack of appetite
Some patients may experience:
• A Rash
• Red Eyes
• Hiccups
• Cough
• Sore throat
• Chest pain
• Difficulty breathing
• Difficulty swallowing
• Bleeding inside and outside of the body

Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to ebolavirus though 8-10 days is most common.

Have a healthy day.

BRING BACK OUR GIRLS

Michele ObamaInternational Labour Organization estimates 1.2 million children are trafficked worldwide, and the US State Department says as many as 27 million men, women and children are victims of trafficking at any given time. It is these statistics that cause outrage and anger among millions across the globe when a terrorist group, Boko Haram invaded and kidnapped close to 300 girls at the cover of darkness on April 14th, at Chibok Girls Secondary School. It is only despicable to tolerate such a thought. More annoying was the lackluster reaction from Nigerian government, for starters it took 18 full days for President Goodluck Jonathan to comment about the issue. To show how clueless he was, he mentioned formation of a committee to look on the issue and possibly bring the girls home, that’s pure nonsense and ridiculous. How do laid back, pot bellied men in government imagine they can bring the girls home, three weeks after. Was it justified for the government to squander all that time while they had a military at their disposal.

Boko Haram founded over a decade ago as Congregation of the People of Tradition for Proselytism & Jihad by one Mohammed Yusuf, an Islamist religious sect and terrorism group believes Nigeria is led by ‘non believers’.The group’s goal is to establish a fully Islamic state, including implementation of criminal sharia courts across the country. Nigeria’s government like any other developing country faced with terrorism, is struggling to contain this ‘madness’. Some political pundits have argued a lot of politics its at play consequently helping Boko Haram ride along and drive home its agenda. President Goodluck Jonathan comes from the southermost state and his nemesis mainly from the northern states are organising and funding Boko Haram to make their states ungovernable thereby destablising the national government.

bkThe world is tilted towards Chibok area in Borno State, Northern Nigeria where 72% of primary aged children never attend school, according to the US Embassy in Nigeria. Boko Haram loosely translated as, ‘Western Education is sin’ destroyed as much as they could in the ill fated school, thereby shutting education and dreams to many school girls. Its race of hope against hope as the world shudders at the worst fears, sexual exploitation, child soldiering and forced marriages. It is also believed the girls could be used for intelligence gathering, cooking and cleaning for the militants.

Nigeria should have acted more swiftly, President Goodluck should have also swallowed his ego on time and admit they need help from the developed countries who have more experience, are better organised and armed with more intelligence. The world is not helping much apart from the roller coaster reactions, the noise has dwindled, how do world leaders sleep and tolerate such inhumane acts. The noise must not stop nor fizzle, you simply never know who they will target next, it could be you, me or even our relatives.

BLOODY AFRICA

ImageThey keep telling us Africa is the next economy frontier, actually its a cliche now. Its no secret that Africa is endowed with lots of resources from minerals to human capital, growing middle class consumer, enormous raw materials besides being the fastest growing continent. But that is the superficial part of it.

Beneath the high hopes and opportunities spread all over, Africa is struggling with an avalanche of serious problems. The major and unfortunate one being poor leadership which over time has hampered poverty eradication and worse still, encouraged conflicts which consequently has resulted to bloody wars. From Central African Republic to Congo, to South Sudan and to the worst country to live in, Somalia. All we have is, scores of dilapidated buildings and ghost towns, desperate mothers, disillusioned children and youths. Many a families have no father figures as they have been reduced to victims of violence and go down in history as the statistics of wars.

Hundreds are displaced, businesses looted, women raped, emergence of camps with no basic amenities occupied with sad faces full of despair. Narrowing to South Sudan, if measures are not put in place, it will deteriorate to the next Syria. The most unfortunate thing is the ethinicised wars where the Dinka are killing the Nuers and vice-versa. ImageThis is one of the many examples of a weak African state dealing with political infighting, endemic poverty and deadly battles between the military and rebels. Every government comes along with its own military ready to push on its retrogressive policies and myopic agendas.

 We have reduced this great continent to a playground of ethnic wars and primitive ‘leaders’. The domicile African Union is either oblivious of the unfolding calamity or hiding its head in the sand hoping things will work out. They cannot even call for an extra ordinary meeting when Africans continue to slaughter each other. But I do not entirely blame African leaders, the international community is approaching this mess in a very laid back way, choosing to sit back and watch from a distance.

On the side of Africa we have a forgotten Central African Republic engulfed with a wave of killings and widespread looting.The United Nations and NGOs on the ground are warning of the violence escalating to a genocide if the international community fails to act soon. C.A.R is one of the poorest countries in the world and the sad reality is that, it has been completely ignored. Thousands of civilians were killed in last December alone.

Across the border, Democratic Republic of Congo is struggling to contain decades of violence and instability.The young Kabila has had a tough time as president since his father was assassinated in 2001. However his surmounting of M23, Congo’s most powerful rebel group has added a grip on his presidency though there are fears he may change the constitution to allow him to run for power in 2016.

ImageAfrica can never take off when its brothers and sisters are being killed daily in numbers. We must invest in good leadership to make systems work. Otherwise the beautiful dreams of a first world Africa will remain just as dreams.