Last night I heard a bit of President Obama’s statement about Ebola in West Africa and how many countries are not doing as much as they’re capable of. The need for medical staff, vehicles, body bags, clinics, protective gear, and so much more. To date, as far as I know, Canada has sent a few vials of experimental medicine and some reporters. Small developing countries such as Cuba are doing more than Canada in West African countries hit by these latest outbreaks.
Canada’s Disaster Assistance Response Team or DART would give Canada a good starting point to assist a country not receiving assistance in the levels needed. The advance team could assess whether more Canadian Forces or Canadian government agencies such as the International Centre for Infectious Diseases. Not only will deploying Canadian resources help those in West Africa but the people we send will pick up best practices from Medecins San Frontieres and other groups leading in the region.
The Federal government along with every Province and Territory should also be sending people out to train front line medical workers in effective containment and protective procedures. Hearing a ER doctor on the news say he has no idea if he puts on the protective gear correctly is disturbing. With our strained medical systems in Canada I would expect Ebola to run quickly through the population.
Ebola virus is nothing to panic about but it needs to be taken seriously and contained quickly before more deaths occur. For those who think spending Canadian money on people in Africa is a waste remember most of the world’s chocolate is grown in the hardest hit countries. The region also has coffee, oil, a growing movie/TV industry, and young knowledge hungry populations.
In Canada’s current political climate where pettiness, stinginess, and narrow mindedness are dominate I doubt I’ll hear much of a debate in the House of Commons on the issue.