The current Ebola crisis in West Africa is an unprecedented and unqualified disaster. More than 20,000 people are reported to be infected with the disease as of January 2015 and the estimated number of deaths is said to have risen above 8,000.
Such frightening statistics are difficult to comprehend in the more developed countries and states around the world, as we are fortunate to have the medical care and informed safety measures to prevent such outbreaks from spreading. Perhaps what is particularly humbling though, is that the almost perpetual cycle of new infections in West Africa are predominately borne out of a lack of proper facilities, treatment and information.
For several months now, international aid efforts and volunteer support have been working tirelessly to stop the outbreak spreading further. And, fortunately, there are now glimmers of hope starting to appear amongst the darkness of this situation.
Scientific research has indicated that the Ebola virus itself can only survive in hot and humid climates, which in the extreme heat of several West Africa, has so far only exacerbated the situation. Subsequently, both medical and military facilities complete with their industrial air conditioning are being mobilised where possible, to care for patients in cool conditions under 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
The cold but also dry conditions work towards preventing the virus from spreading as it cannot survive in these low temperatures. However, the unfortunate situation is that this seemingly simple solution is easier in theory, than in practise.
The Ongoing Battle for Treatment
The already impoverished West African countries such as Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia lack even the most basic of medical units to help deal with the outbreak. Needless to say, Air conditioning units are a rare commodity in these places and the expense of importing international aid is now often stretching beyond the means of many charities.
This combined with no current established treatment procedures for Ebola, blatantly means more needs to be done in terms of foreign financial support. We have the technology and potentially life-saving air conditioning available and ready to be sent to West Africa, providing we start supporting our charities more. Should you want to offer your support, there are a number of appeals out there ready to accept any donations.