According to a statement offered by Doctors without Frontiers, if another international epidemic like the Ebola outbreak would hit, the global health system wouldn’t be able to handle it. Not that the disease decimating populations in West Africa has received a timely global reaction.
After taking more than a year to issue a worldwide warning about Ebola, the World Health Organization is doing its best to prevent this situation from ever happening again.
Doctors without Frontiers has joined the international efforts, urging the developed countries to adhere with their own coordinated response plans and merge drugs that would combat neglected diseases.
The medical charitable organization blames the Ebola tragedy on the lack of reliable leadership as much as the absence of mandatory vaccines and treatments. This scenario is not unique to the Ebola epidemic, as the global health system has failed the population on other health crises.
Joanne Liu, the international president of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), gave a statement on Wednesday, saying that should “a global pandemic strike tomorrow,” the world health system is as uncoordinated and low-resourced as it was before Ebola hit. There would be no international response to kick in and bring it to an end.
It is over a year ago that Guinea started its slow and painful fight against Ebola. The infectious disease then spread to neighboring Sierra Leone and Liberia, taking a total death toll of more than 11,000 people.
Last month, Liberia was finally declared to be Ebola-free, but Guinea is still struggling with new confirmed cases each week, creating a local panic about a renewal in the disease’s chain reaction.
The Group of 7 has a conference coming up, and Liu is determined to avoid another health crisis that would take thousands more lives, so she is calling the participating leaders to action. She strongly believes a common effort is needed in order to close the gap eating away in our global health system.
Ebola and neglected illnesses around the world are some of the issues that will be discussed at the meeting taking place in Germany next week. Government representatives from Italy, Germany, Britain, the United States, Japan, Canada, and France are expected to join the conference.
According to MSF, there is way too little funding going into finding new treatments and vaccines from disease that are resistant to available antibiotics. Even if there are some available drugs for the more neglected health problems, they are way too pricy, making them highly inaccessible.
One of the diseases in dire need of attention from the medical community is tuberculosis (TB), which is drug-resistant and affects thousands of people each year.
Image Source: MSF