Africa is a very unfortunate continent. The misfortunes of this continent run through centuries, dating back to pre-colonial period. We have had various plights, strives and all bad things. However, the African population has prevailed over all these. Various diseases like the Human Immuno Virus have ravaged us, decimated our populations and still the Africans have been resilient. Through decades, the African man and woman woke up to till the land and herd livestock. We raised our children and took them to schools, with the promise that they will become educated through imbibing in modern education and become advanced and with their skills, develop Africa and ensure that the Africa they live in a society that is more safe, secure, with a thriving economy, powered by hardworking people to ensure that its sustains everyone. Living in an Africa, whose health systems are much better, one that can safe-guard against various diseases that have stalked the continent for many decades. In the process, the continent has produced the best medical doctors, engineers, nurses, educators and many other professionals of various professions. However, the most disturbing thing is that we continue to suffer to experience serious challenges especially in medicine and other sectors. With medicine it should not be the case. With so many herbs of various potency to cure a lot of ailments, found all over the countries of Africa, one should expect the continent to be able to provide for its medicinal needs. Now we have the Ebola virus that has struck like a venomous cobra. Like a mad devil, the virus has torn through West Africa with a relentless cruelty, taking lives in its wake. Even more alarming and frightening, Sierra Leone’s prominent doctor in charge of the fight against Ebola, Sheik Umar Khan, died after he was also infected with the disease while tending to his patients. It has claimed hundreds of lives and leaving hundreds more infected.
First documented in 1976, Ebola is a deadly virus and is contracted through contact with the blood or bodily fluids of another infected person or animal. Because fruit bats can seemingly carry the virus without without falling sick, they are believed to be its primary carriers.
The ministry of health has strongly warned members of the public to avoid or postpone travel to Ebola affected countries, just hours after health authorities in Namibia convened over the outbreak in West Africa.
In a statement late Friday the ministry said there is an EBOLA/ VHF (Viral Hemorrhagic fever) epidemic in West African Nations including Guinea-Conakry, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and recently Nigeria. The release said there is a possibility that the number of countries affected will increase over time.
Ebola is highly contagious and virulent disease with severe fatality that can be transmitted via human contacts. With the world so inter-connected, people and governments will need to be vigilant to ensure that wherever prevention fails, there are better control measures in place to safeguard people’s lives.
It is also sad that while we are under attack from this deadly disease, the nation of Botswana is also in mourning following the loss of a great son of the soil, Gomolemo Thatayaone Motswaledi, a man whose life has touched many; the poor and the rich and kinds of people. His death, whose cause remains unclear to date, should not divide us as a nation, but rather unite us as we look for the real cause of his death. We therefore wait with bated breath the private investigations so that they can tell us what really happened on that fateful day when such a powerful opposition leader died.