#Article (Archive)

Let’s maintain clean bill of health

Oct 20, 2014, 8:34 PM

(Friday October 17, 2014 Issue)

It is a clear fact that Ebola is somehow winning the war against the fight to contain it, as each day we keep hearing about more infections of the killer disease.

The issue of lifting travel ban and flight restrictions to allow transactions and business to flow across countries as well as the call to maintain the ban at all cost for the moment, have been a huge concern to all, especially in The Gambia, which is Ebola-free.

We should do everything possible to keep our nation protected and safe because Ebola is a dangerous disease that causes serious mayhem to a people ranging from death to economic strangling. So we must protect our nation, which largely depends on tourism.

We should protect our country from any ebola-related cases, because “in The Gambia what we have is tourism; once wrecked it takes years to rebuild”, which will be very difficult to do. Through tourism a huge chunk of employment is created; taxes are generated by government, and a lot of fruits emanate from it in the form of various kinds of investments and trade.

So we must jealously protect our country and ensure its clean bill of health at all times.

It is said that the best way to protect oneself is to prevent or avoid the attacker.  In other words we protect ourselves when we go on the offensive, in this case by taking the necessary measures to ensure that we do not allow any Ebola confrontation on our ground or territory.  This is the line the Gambia government has taken in the fight to defend our country against Ebola.

Ebola is a dangerous disease; it has a high risk of death, killing between 25% and 90% of those infected with the virus.

According to WHO, as of 15 October 2014, 8,998 suspected cases resulting in the deaths of 4,493 have been reported. Furthermore the spread rates as of 15 October 2014 have been 17 cases of Ebola treated outside of Africa, four of whom have died.

In early October, Teresa Romero, a 44-year-old Spanish nurse, contracted Ebola after caring for a priest who had been repatriated from West Africa. This was the first transmission of the virus to occur outside of Africa.

The outbreak of Ebola, on the economic front, could cost the West African economy $32.6bn (£20.3bn) by the end of 2015 unless the epidemic is quickly contained, according to the World Bank.

The Bank also states that shares of airline stocks are being affected as some investors are worried about the prospect of travel bans for airlines from West Africa to Europe and the United States.

Looking at these stark facts and reality, we must all endeavour to protect our country from diseases or anything that could stain our clean bill of health, so that we continue to tread the path of progress unabated.

“Prevention is better than cure”