By Beatrice Sithole Email: email@example.com
I AM not in the medical fraternity and have very little knowledge if any on this scourge which has hit hard a few countries in Africa.
What I have heard and read about so far – is that it is a menace which – when it hits a country, it is very difficult to control hence the need for us all to try and help keep it out of Zimbabwe.
It is the responsibility of everyone in this country, to ensure that Ebola does not manifest here. It is because of this that I have decided to play my part by putting my ear to the ground and try to understand and share what I have learnt so far about Ebola.
I recently listened to the Spot FM programme – ‘the morning grill’, on September 25 hosted by Tawanda Gudhlanga where he was talking to the deputy minister of health Dr Paul Chimedza, on Ebola. It was one of those talks which one wished every citizen had listened to.
Dr Chimedza was very careful not to raise false alarm, but was honest enough to share what is known so far about Ebola, the screening and the preparedness of his ministry in case of any eventualities. Seeing that now the world is a global village, he was quick to point out that we should not be complacent, but always alert and maintain hygienic standards.
For those who did not listen to the programme, I will try and summarise what I picked from the interview.
a) That Ebola is deadly and real.
b) That there is no cure yet.
c) That two suspected cases in Zimbabwe were cleared, hence no one has been diagnosed with Ebola.
d) That the ministry has trained some of the staff and equipment has been set in place at various points to help detect and quarantine any suspected patients to curb the spreading of the disease.
e) That the ministry is trying to educate people through various means on this deadly disease.
Dr Chimedza encouraged members of the public to limit their visits to affected countries.
However, what prompted me to write this article was the naïveté shown by the last caller on the programme.
The lady said there was no way anyone could discouraged her to visit people like Nigeria’s TB Joshua and that she and maybe with others, will continue going there.
She said after all, if one’s day had come they are going to die anyway. I commend Dr Chimedza’s response when he said it is unfortunate that if such people go and come back with this deadly disease, other people will be affected too.
After this last caller, I got to think that this might not be an isolated case of ignorance, that there might be many people out there who do not understand the implications of such carelessness and selfish thinking.
There are probably many people out there who do not see anything wrong in visiting the affected countries.
I don’t know if they understand the risk.
It is my humble prayer that the Government, churches, organisations and associations find ways to educate the public on the seriousness of Ebola.
It is the responsibility of everyone to be vigilant and teach others to be responsible and make sure that we keep Ebola out of our beautiful country.