Each morning Suzanne and I watch the news to hear the latest on Ebola. We fear one morning we will wake to learn Ebola has made it to Ghana. When it does, Ghana will be ready.
Hospitals are Preparing
We were paying a bill at the nearest hospital. Outside there was a nurse who took our temperature and interviewed us for five minutes before allowing us inside, to pay my bill.
The trouble is many tropical diseases initially present with similar symptoms to Ebola: fever, headache, diarrhea, vomiting, weakness, joint muscle pains, stomach pain, lack of appetite. In the weeks our nurse has been monitoring, she has found many with those symptoms—this is a hospital after all—but none with Ebola.
Churches are Preparing
At our church in Accra, hugging, shaking hands, even holding hands at the end of the service for “the Grace” was stopped.
Shared communion elements were changed to prepackaged individual servings. It is good that we are practicing this now, before Ebola hits, so that when it does, we are ready.
At Ashesi, we had two days of Ebola training from the Ghana Ministry of Health. We learned that Ebola first appeared in South Sudan, but identified months later in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) in 1976, near the Ebola River.
Of the five known strains, this outbreak is the first time the Zaire strain has appeared in West Africa. Suspected to have jumped from bush animals (who are carriers, but not affected) to humans, hunters and those who prepare food were the first to be infected, followed by health care workers.
“This is a crisis of Leadership and Citizenship” the president and founder of Ashesi said at a September Town Hall Meeting.
Leadership in how the governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone initially responded.
Citizenship in how the public and patients lied, or left out important details in healthcare in screenings.
Ashesi has started construction of two isolation units on the edge of the campus. If a someone becomes suspect they are quarantined until the ambulance arrives.
In a few weeks we will start having preparedness exercises on campus to practice what we have learned.
So what will We do?
When Ebola comes to Ghana we will stay, doing what we do now, unless the University is closed down. Then we will leave until it is safe to come back.
Today, we feel perfectly safe in Ghana, and are thankful our community is making preparations for when Ebola does come.
It is not a matter of if.
However, this highlights one of the very few positives of being located on a very bad road. Nothing arrives here by accident, and by God’s Grace, neither will Ebola.
[from www.thisisindexed.com – a fun website that puts everything in perspective]