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Ebola: Hemorrhagic Disease: The ThirdWorldization Of A Deadly Plague

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Ebola Virus

Initial sequencing showed strong similarity to the Zaire strain, the most lethal of the five Ebola subtypes.

Initial sequencing showed strong similarity to the Zaire strain, the most lethal of the five Ebola subtypes.

Musings And Aphorisms On Health

There is evidence there will be a major epidemic this comng Fall. The indication is that we will see a return of the 1918 Flu virus that is the most virulent form of Flu. In 1918, a half a million people died. The projections are that this virus will Affect and Effect one million Americans in 1976[and beyond].

- F. David matthews, Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare

Improvement in health is the likely to come, in the future as in the past, from the modification of the conditions which led to the disease, rather than from intervention into the mechanisms of disease after it has occurred.

- Thomas McKeonwn, 1976

The Microbe Is Nothing; The Terrain, Everything.

- Louis Pasteur

Men who never have had the experience of trying, in the midst of an epidemic, to remain calm and keep experimental conditions, do not realize in the security of the laboratotries what one has to contnend with.

- Dr. MartinArrowsmith, from Arrowsmith, Sinclair Lewis

The Ebola Disease Keeps On Coming Back

I have thus far written couple of articles here on HubPages regarding Health Issues in south Africa. I am not a doctor by training, but I do serious research if the topic does not only deal 'specifically' with health, but includes politics, economics, massive refugee migrations, Changing social environments, local and regional warfare; issues of unpurified water, improper use of antibiotics and syringes, and decrepit health-care conditions in the existing health facilities and lack of protocol in their being run by local or foreign health-givers.

As a researcher, most of the issues I have listed and mentioned above, gives me the authority to address what is a scourge, then deemed to be emerging in the earlier decades, but today, is a scourge and threat to the rest of humanity, no matter where we are on the Planet earth. Migration and refugees feeling they wars in their countries enable and spread. So that, to date, we now are aware from various researches that the past 100 years has seen conditions such as I have listed above giving rise to the spread to and recurrent outbreaks of very rare and strange diseases, epidemics, and those that have mutated and are no longer curable.

One note I would like to make about the source of my Hub is Laurie Garrett whose work I will cite from heavily to demonstrate what I call the ThirdWorldization of the Emerging and present-day Plagues. She is a New Yorker and writer on health and science. I will defer to her later on in the Hub because, according to Mullan, she, Garrett, has contributed to our awareness of human ecology and the fragility of the relative biological well-being that many of us enjoy. For now, that well--being in the US, has caused a euphoria and fear in the US, that people from Africa are now sidelined and stigmatized, because on one Liberian patient who came to the States, was not treated well, and died as a result... Mullan adds:

"Garrett has mastered an extraordinary amount of detail about the pathology, epidemiology, and human events surrounding dozens of complex diseases… She writes engagingly, carrying her theses as eel as the readers interests from outbreak to outbreak." I am citing her because as the present media fuss and environment in the US has made this sun a big issue, which caught them unprepared, made me come to the conclusion that many shenanigans that the US and its allies have been involved in through i=out its outbreak has been characterized by negligence, and the fact that it is them that(meaning Africans) that are being affected, and not Us(The US and its partners that are not affected and effected).

Garrett writes:

"The Great Ebola drama went almost unnoticed in the United States in 1976, even in the hallways of the Centers for Disease Control. The nation was preoccupied. And Africa was, in the american consciousness, far away."

Garrett further states that:

"We(The US) ant to believe that history happened only to 'them, in the past" and that we are somehow outside history, rather than enmeshed within it. Many aspects of history are unanticipated and unforeseen, predictable only in retrospect… Yet, in one vital area, the emergence and spread of new infectious diseases, we can already predict the future-and it is threatening and dangerous for us all."

According to Garrett, "The world has brome more vulnerable to the eruption and, most critically, to the widespread and even global spread of both new and old infectious diseases. This new and heightened vulnerability is not mysterious. The dramatic incases in worldwide movement of people, goods, and ideas is the driving force behind globalization of disease. For not only do people travel increasingly, but they travel much more rapidly, and go to many places than ever before.

"A person harboring a life-threatening microbe can easily board a jet plane and be on another continent when the symptoms of illness strike. The Jet plane itself, and its cargo, can carry insects bringing infectious agents into new ecologic settings. Few habitats on the globe remain truly isolated or untouched, as tourists and other travelers penetrate into the most remote and previously inaccessible ares in the search for new vistas, business, or recreation."

So that, Garrett has "provided us with a history full of real people, sweat and grit, of the discoveries which have led us to realize that infectious diseases have not been vanquished-quite the contrary. It was in these places, Bolivia, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Zaire(Liberia, Nigeria, etc), that a group of highly trained, dedicated, and courageous people met the plague) on its own ground. Facing the unknown, at the frontiers of science, they struggled and wrested from nature an insight, that, diseases will remain a threat, that disease and human activity are inextricable, and that nature has many hidden places and surprises still in store(Mann)

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For all intense purposes, I should state that this was written when the book was published in 1994… Now that we are in the year 2014… the plague has flared-up again, this time in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and the neighboring, and the observation and words plus researches of Garrett are even more relevant today as they were when she wrote about the "The Coming Plagues".. So far, all these places we have seen since then, affected people all over the world; all these plagues are the hot topic today in the present-day social media and old media.

The government of the US was caught unprepared, and it is now that they are trying to catch-up, because they had 'one' infected person coming through a plane and died here in the US, because theory hospital staff were ill-prepared and not trained to handle the scourge, because, like I have said and cited above… It is only affecting"them", and that Africa is far away… well, Two or more people in the US have been affected, and there is a lot of blame, scurrying around, and as usual, the CDC was not even ready nor prepared, neither trained the health givers in the States training to deal with the scourge of Ebola… And this is only from one person.

It is at this juncture that I will have to trace the story and history of the countries that are affected and infected with the Ebola plague. This is important for me to try and give a historical brief about the countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and so forth so that the reader can have a sense and a general idea what is going or has been going on in this beleaguered countries, that they should in the end be the bearers of such a deadly plague.

These diseases did not just happen to be there today, as we are all now reading about and paying, some attention to. There are many issues that have given rise to such a condition, and it is important that we begin to look at these countries, albeit briefly, in order to have a better understanding as to why and what it is that makes such a plague get a devastating and deadly grip on its populace.

These countries are not just happening to be around in the world scene and affairs… There has been a gradual evolution that has given this opportunistic disease a fertile ground to spread. Before I deal with the emergence of Ebola in Zaire, according to the way Garrett saw and wrote about it, I want to first of all give a brief synopsis about these countries and their historical internal situations below.

President Samuel Doe


President Tolbert Of Liberia

President Ghankay Taylor Of Liberia

President Ghankay Taylor Of Liberia

A Shortened History Of Liberia

July 23, 1971: President Tubman dies, and Vice President Tolbert takes office.
In office for 27 years, Tubman headed a regime that went from democratic to dictatorial. He is succeeded by his vice president of 19 years, William R. Tolbert, Jr.

1972: Tolbert adopts a more nonaligned stance in the Cold War.
Liberia establishes diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, Poland, and several other Eastern bloc countries, and takes on a more nonaligned posture, thus breaking away from the Cold War agenda followed by President Tubman.

1973: Liberia severs diplomatic ties with Israel.
Following the Yom Kippur War in October 1973, which pits Israel against Egypt and Syria, Liberia becomes one of 29 African countries to sever diplomatic ties with Israel.

May 28, 1975: ECOWAS is established.
Liberia, under Tolbert's presidency, is a signatory to the treaty which establishes the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in order to create a common market in West Africa and promote regional economic integration and stability in 15 West African countries, with the intention that it would mirror the success of the European Common Market (now the EU). In 1990, ECOWAS member states will establish the ECOWAS Monitoring Group, or ECOMOG, as a multinational peacekeeping/peace enforcement group responsible for the restoration of peace in Liberia. ECOMOG is the first armed force to be established by a regional organization.

September 21, 1976: During the United States' bicentennial celebration, President Tolbert addresses the joint session of the U.S. Congress.

1978: U.S. president Jimmy Carter conducts the first official U.S. presidential visit to Liberia.
During the same year, President Tolbert encourages young student and opposition leaders living in the U.S. to return home to Liberia to participate in the political process.

April 14, 1979: The "rice riots"
A proposed increase in the price of imported rice, suggested in order to stimulate local growth, results in riots which lead to many deaths and enormous infrastructural damage to the capital city of Monrovia. The leaders of the demonstration are the same student leaders whom Tolbert had invited home to Liberia some months before.

April 12, 1980: Samuel K. Doe, a master sergeant of Krahn descent in the Liberian army, overthrows the government in a bloody coup.
President Tolbert is assassinated, 13 Cabinet ministers are executed, and dozens of other government officials are imprisoned.

1985: Samuel Kanyon Doe becomes Liberia's 20th president.
Doe claims victory in a presidential election under a cloud of controversy and charges of vote-rigging. Despite the allegations, the United States accepts the results of the election and offers support to the new president.

November 1985: Thomas Quiwonkpa, Doe's former second-in-command, is killed after his failed attempt to depose Doe's government.
The coup attempt leads to government-led violence against the Gio and Mano people of Quiwonkpa's native Nimba County.

December 24, 1989: The National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) enters Liberia.
Civil war breaks out, and Charles Taylor becomes the first of several Liberian warlords.

1990: Taylor's troops capture most of the country.
The brutal civil war, which will last another seven years, pits tribe against tribe and leads to the death of more than 200,000 Liberians, the displacement of hundreds of thousands of others, and the destruction of the country's infrastructure.

August 24, 1990: Three thousand ECOMOG forces arrive in Liberia.
During the same month, ECOWAS holds a meeting in Banjul, Gambia, where Dr. Amos Sawyer is appointed as president of an Interim Government of National Unity (IGNU). Sawyer's Monrovia-based IGNU is not recognized by rebel leader Charles Taylor, who is based outside Monrovia and controls the rest of the country. The country is divided, with two effective seats of government and two effective currencies.

September 9, 1990: Samuel K. Doe is executed.
President Doe is captured and killed by a rebel faction led by Prince Johnson. In spite of his execution, civil war continues to rage.

October 30, 1991: The Yamoussoukro IV Accord
ECOWAS brokers the Yamoussoukro IV Accord in the Ivory Coast. It is the first major accord and outlines steps to implement a peace plan that includes the encampment and disarmament of warring factions under the supervision of an expanded ECOMOG, as well as the establishment of transitional institutions to bring about democratic elections.

July 25, 1993: The Cotonou Peace Agreement
The Cotonou Peace Agreement, which calls for the establishment of a government of inclusion and a UN-sponsored cease-fire, is signed in Cotonou, Benin, by the IGNU and the two warring factions -- the United Liberation Movement for Democracy in Liberia (ULIMO) and the NPFL -- following peace talks in Geneva, Switzerland.

March 7, 1994: The first Liberian National Transitional Government, the LNTG, is installed.
Liberian attorney David Kpomakpor is appointed head of the LNTG.

September 12, 1994: The Akosombo Peace Agreement
Signed in Akosombo, Ghana, the agreement supplements and amends the Cotonou Peace Agreement and is signed by the NPFL, ULIMO, and the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL). The agreement meets with widespread disapproval from civil society groups and church leaders because it effectively partitions Liberia, and does not include all Liberian factions.

1995: The 16-member ECOWAS brokers a peace treaty between Liberia's warring factions.
This treaty comes after several attempts at peace fail. An interim state council establishes a tentative timetable for elections.

August 19, 1995: The first Abuja Accord is signed.
The Abuja Accord is signed in Abuja, Nigeria, and includes installation of an interim Council of State -- a national ruling body composed of various faction warlords and headed by a neutral chairman (this represents the second Liberian National Transitional Government, LNTG II) -- and a cease-fire, which is intended to come into effect one week later, on August 26.

April 6, 1996: The Siege of Monrovia
An estimated 3,000 people are killed when five factions converge in an intense battle in Monrovia, in what comes to be known as the Siege of Monrovia. The crisis begins when the Council of State attempts to arrest Roosevelt Johnson, an ethnic Krahn and leader of ULIMO-J (ULIMO-Johnson branch), on murder charges. Johnson takes refuge in the military barracks of the former AFL. ULIMO-J, Liberian Peace Council (LPC), and remnants of the AFL, all largely consisting of ethnic Krahn fighters, rally at the barracks and engage the combined forces of NPFL and ULIMO-K (ULIMO-Kromah branch).

August 17, 1996: Abuja Accord Supplement
Further signatories to the agreement usher in a new Council of State, the third Liberian National Transitional Government (LNTG III), with former senator Ruth Sando Perry appointed head. The accord provides for an immediate cease-fire, disarmament of all combatants by the end of January 1997, reintegration, and nationwide elections scheduled for May 1997, with an elected government to be installed by June 15, 1997. The accord also provides for sanctions for any faction which does not comply with the terms of the peace accord; sanctions include travel restrictions, exclusion from the electoral process, and the establishment of a war crimes tribunal. This is the last accord which finally leads to elections.

July 19, 1997: After seven years of mayhem, Charles Taylor is elected president of Liberia.
The election is monitored by ECOWAS and other international observers, including former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, and is declared fair.

September 1998: Liberian government forces fire into the U.S. Embassy in Liberia when opposition leader Roosevelt Johnson seeks refuge in it.
Johnson is ultimately airlifted out of the country. The violence prompts the U.S. to close the embassy. Two months later, Liberia offers an apology for the incident, and the Embassy is reopened.

February 2000: Liberia is accused of supporting Sierra Leone's rebel movement against the government by trading arms and other resources for diamonds.
President Taylor denies the charge, which is levied against him by the United States and other countries. Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United Front (RUF) has by this time destabilized Sierra Leone and begun to undermine the government in neighboring Guinea; Taylor is implicated by the international community in both actions.

July 2000: The United Nations bans diamond exports from Liberia and reinforces its ban on arms exports to Liberia.

President Charles Taylor


Liberia: America's Stepchild

This African State became independent on July 1847. For more than a century Liberia just existed along, on a seemingly highroad to nowhere. But now there is a hustle and bustle for progress in their land. As recently as 19954 it could be said that Liberia was still one the most backward countries of the West African countries. It had no railroads and very few roads worthy of the name. By the end of the 1960s, the picture was quite different. An authority on this subject wrote:

"Liberia should be regarded as a rather special case among African nations, if economic expansion and political stability are valid indices. .. Thirteen years ago, there was one bank in Liberia. There are seven now. Twenty years ago, there were no roads, no railways, no airports and no industry; now the road, rail and air networks are serving a growing industry. With its economy booming, Liberia enjoys a rare privilege; that of having a substantial surplus. ... An improvement in living standards, the development of hygiene and the systematic elimination of illiteracy are part of Liberia's daily life efforts."

Liberia was one of the founders of the OAU(organization Of African Unity), and an initiator of a free exchange zone founded in August 1964 with Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ivory coast.(This partly gives the reader why Ebola has spread along the later regions mentioned above. Their present in 1968 was one of the most determined adversaries of Portuguese (and had declared a total embargo against them, as well as Apartheid South Africa and Rhodesia's Smith's regime, Now called Zimbabwe).

Liberia's exports are rubber and iron ore, which together account for 90% of the nation's exports. Its iron ore production is exceeded only by the outputs of Canada and Sweden. There were further plans to establish an iron industry complex in the port city of Buchanan and for the construction of an oil refinery in Monrovia.

Diamond and gold mines were now being worked in the mid-sixties. In 1965, 244,000 carats of diamond were produced, and in 1966 the total number of carats row to 555,000. Gold production in 1965 was 116 pounds, which in 1967 rose to 297 pounds. Liberia had nearly 14,000 square miles of forests, which might , maybe have proven, if events didn't change, to be of great wealth to them(and their chief trading partner in all this was America).

Liberia is the Oldest "Republic" in Africa, the only country on the continent never to have been a colony or part of an empire, and a "Step-child of the Americans" who had serious vested interests in the minerals as just noted-that these were manifest with strong cultural and financial ties with the Americans. The rest of Africa has often regarded Liberia as a peculiar place and very different from the rest of the African countries… the Americans and the early rulers of Liberia thought of it as sophisticated and would never be overthrown-and it's leaders were totally schooled in the American ways. There was also this false notion that it was an outpost, for Americans,

Its American-style institutions and the familiar idiom in which the country conducted its business was ready-made fro Americans to have their interests entranced and lacking the crises endemic in amy other African countries, But this did not help nor stop the explosions that took place. For 133 years, An African-Settler elite, which was five percent of Liberia's population, monopolized all political and controlled access to the country's natural resources-also, this grow or class of around forty-thousand people, were members of the Americo-Liberian families, made decisions for and controlled the lives of one and a half millions indigenous African Liberians. Those who were admitted into this clique, was through marriage or patronage by this African settler community of returned African slaves from America.

This class subjugated the local Africans of Liberia and they humiliated them badly, and this put Liberia of the 1980s on a revolutionary edge, evolving soldiers brutally murdered Tolbert, their president, in his luxury mansion, and they disemboweled him, stuck a bay one through his head, and displayed his dead body in the John F, Kennedy Hospital, and was buried in a mass grave with 27 others((Unger)

Unger adds: "These rogue soldiers, in 1980, arrested the wealthy Americo-Liberian officials, marched them naked through the streets of Liberia past jeering crowds, tied them at the post of the Barclay Training center and executed them at point-blank range. A crowd of thousand revelers gathered at the beach to watch and cheer as the officials-some whimpering and collapsing, others fairly smiling-were cut down with rifle shots and they limp bodies sprayed with machine-gun fire. By all accounts, there was jubilation throughout the country, literally dancing in the streets.

"The executions took place within sight of Master Sergeant Doe's new home. These run-down hovel without running water barracks became a symbol of Liberia's revolution, and Doe and his friends liked to show-off to visitors. Many of these soldiers, who lived in these decrepit donation, made themselves into a self-styled elite and moved into the homes of the Americo-Liberians who had fled the slaughter-they also confiscated the Mercedes Benzes of their former abusers, harassed businessmen and merchant-they also were freely brandishing their weapons, and they went on an unorganized reign off terror and brought the country to the brink of paralysis."

Alexander Crumwell further informs us that:

"The love of liberty brought us here." That was the motto of the early African Settlers of Liberia, who believed they were not only leaving behind the bonds of slavery in America, but also undertaking a civilizing mission by returning to the continent of their origins and imparting western knowledge. Liberia was a creation of the American Colonization society, a quaint institution founded in 1816. The society sought to emulate sierra Leone, just to the west of Liberia, which was developing as a haven for freed British slaves(including Africans who fought on the British side during the American Revolution and later retreated to ova Scotia)… Some members of the Colonization society were motivated by humanitarianism, but others were simply practical; America slave owners wanter former slavers out of sight, lest they provoke discontent on the remaining plantations. The civilizing mission was taken very seriously by successive waves of African Slave emigrants to Liberia."

This is one history which needs to be told at length, but for now, will pause it here. But a fact that needs to be pointed out here that Liberia was a satellite of America in more ways than one, rather than being African inspired and symbolized.

Ahmadu Ahidjo

Ahmadou Babatoura Ahidjo, Nationalist, Pan-Africanist, freedom fighter and the first President of Cameroon.  He was one of the youngest Presidents of a newly independnent African State

Ahmadou Babatoura Ahidjo, Nationalist, Pan-Africanist, freedom fighter and the first President of Cameroon. He was one of the youngest Presidents of a newly independnent African State

Cameroon: A Fallen African Star


A country of 10 million people, it has evolved with strong-armed leaders who didi not want to plan for the future, and it is a country that is strategically located at the hinge of Africa. Ahmadou Ahidjo was leader since 1960, even before independence from France, and he consolidated virtually all political forces within his ruling Party. Over time he has spoken about 'resting,' but he never stepped down, because there was no adequate procedure to make him do so.

He was 20 years younger than Houphouet-Boigny, who when he visited Guinea, gave the pragmatic rule of Ahijo his blessings. But in NOvember 1982, citing ill-health, Uhiddjo suprprised his country by resigning as President. Like Senghor, he turned power over to a long time prime minister, 49 year-old Paul Biya, who was little known outside the country, but had a reputation for honesty and competency…

When Ahidjo left power, this was not well broadcast, because there was a Coup d' etat in Upper Volta.While the world was watching, Cameroon enjoyed considerable success as a young nation. It nits first twenty years of independence, it nearly doubled its per capita gross national product. Like Ivory Coast, Cameroon first concentrated on agricultural developments, then moved on to basic industry, and finally had the good fortune of off-shore oil finds/fields.(Unger)

According to Unger, Cameroon is in many respects a microcosm of the African continent, a country compost of at least two hundred separate ethnic groups, watch with own language, none large enough to dominate the country's affair(But, I contend that they have many similarities than differences). The land is also as varied a s the people who live on it, ranging from coastal swamps and tropical rainforests through Savannah's to desert areas.The different groups have been separated by the legacy they have to contend with of two different colonial heritages.

We also learn from Unger that Cameroon was originally a German protectorate, and then the country was split between France and Britain after World War I, and the two parts developed individually. Most of what had been British Cameroon voted to join a federation with French Cameroon (rather than Nigeria) just after Independence, but there were still tensions.

"Officially the country conducts affairs in English and French (the only other language spoken by enough people to be considered a national language is Cameroonian "pidgin"), but 20 percent anglophone minority is chronically discontent, much in the manner of the French-speaking minority in Canada. Very little English is actually used in the languid capital city of Yaounde, where most of the political power is concentrated, or in Douala, where most of the country's financial business is transacted.

The nature of the roads, the uniforms of the police, the music, even mannerisms of the people change once one has crossed the undermacated cultural and linguistic frontier. Political discussions take place on one side at sidewalk cafes, on the other in the pus. Here and there, a German built castle can be seen in the hills, a remnant of an earlier era and yet another set of political and cultural traditions. (There are other reminders: hotelkeepers in some remote areas still speak only German and Goethe Institute does a booming business in Yaounde among people who want to learn the language so they can better understand the country's past), [and be Fluent in German].

Five years before independence, the Cameroonian government fought a withering insurgency, based not so much on linguistic or 'tribal' complaints as ideological differences. The rebels, who wanted to establish a Marxist system in Cameroon, were openly aided by China, and it was only with French assistance that Ahidjo finally prevailed in 1972. He not only neutralized much of the domestic opposition that remain by coopting it into the government, but also turned the Chinese into friends.

"By the late 1970s, Cameroonian shops were full if inexpensive Chinese consumer goods (whose Western equivalents would have been much costly in terms of hard currency outlays), and China was building a palace of culture on a hill int e center of Yaounde. The Chinese also constructed a dam in the north, and Ahidjo was able to play well enough on international rivalries to attract other substantial development aid from the United States, the soviet Union, Saudi Arabia, Canada , and members of the European community,

"Although one of the two central banks of the French African Community is located in Yaounde, Ahidjo managed to downplay Cameroon's French connection, and over the objection of French Bank Interests, he encouraged the Chase Manhattan Bank to open a branch in Douala. The First National Bank of Boston and Bank of America followed suit. Cameroon's ties with France remained very close, but the president cast himself as an individualist, staying from the periodic summits of former French African colonies, for example, on the grounds that their symbolism was inappropriate.

"Cameroon for years seemed the essence of stability compared to some of its close neighbors. Equatorial Guinea, where the regime of Nguema Masie Biyoto ruled by terror and reintroduced forced labor; Nigeria, where military coups and civil war had the country in disorder for year; the Central African Republic, where a despotic ruler crowned himself emperor and slaughtered schoolchildren; and Chad, where the ostensibly insoluble civil war was stoked by Libya and dragged on for decades.

But Cameroon could not always keep as much distance as it wanted from these crises. Various parts of the country endured crosscurrents of refugees and Ahidjo had to worry constantly that outspoken exile leaders from neighboring states who sough asylum in Cameroon would end up dragging his government into disputes. (The recurrent trouble along Cameroon's border with Nigeria was enough of a problem, aggravated as it was by the Cameroonian's' envy of the Nigerians' wealth and influence in Africa-[I think there's more to the story than this one-liner.)

"Ahidjo did not turn the refugees away, and although he had his own political prisoners, but he had made material improvements for his people, and he removed urban slums and instituted renewal programs. His international policy, he was regarded as pro-western, but in reality, Ahidjo was more interested in building and encouraging Pan Africans in Cameroon. He provided sufficient funds to build a school of journalism in Yaounde, and it welcomed students from throughout Africa.

Ahidjo made Cameroon the Capital and arena of exchange of ideas and the development of a new generation of African leaders and intellectuals. But it also made it a logical crossroads for the intelligence agents from various countries. Yaounde became one of those places in the Third World where various competing powers watched each other watching each other.

"But in 1983, Biya, the new president fired some members of his cabinet, including his prime minister, because he said that there was a plot "against the security of the Republic." And he came to logger-heads with the retired Ahidjo. Ahidjo claimed that Biya had turned Cameroon into a "police states" where telephones were tapped and arbitrary interrogations carried out.

"The former president also contended that he was tricked into stepping down through a false doctor prognosis and report. Biya denied Ahidjo from transferring his money out of Cameroon. Moslem ethnic groups from the Northern part of the country, the home of Ahidjo, represented the growing power of the Christian southerners like Biya.

"The situation deteriorated quickly. A Cameroonian court sentenced Ahidjo to death, in absentia, and then Biya, hoping to appear conciliatory, pardoned him. But in April 1984, units of the presidential guard, an elite unit, had been formed by Ahidjo, rebelled against Biya's order that they be transferred. The army quelled the mutiny by mostly northern soldiers only after three days of fighting in the streets of Yaounde.

"Ahidjo insisted he had nothing to do with the revolt, in which as many as a thousand people were estimated to have died, but the country seemed perilously divided. This time Biya showed little generosity; hundreds of guard members and civilian sympathizers were tried in secret by military tribunals and executed. Within a spate of a few months, Cameroon was taken off the list of stable African countries where development was on track and investments would be safe.

Sekou Toure


Guinea: Sekou Toure-Dr. Jackyl And Mr. Hyde Of Africa

I would like to give a historical and short background on Guinea, and to do this, I will cull heavily from Unger in order to give the read a better sense of the country which, too, was afflicted by Ebola, along with Liberia and Cameroon, for the purpose of discussion in this Hub.

This is what Unger has to tell us about the Country of Guinea:

"Guinea was regarded as a potential model of independent, Black(African) ruled African; achieving independence early, as a kind of Francophone counterpart to Ghana, it was led by Sekou Toure, a young, charismatic trade unionist, who was said to understand the need to meld the best parts of the French heritage with nationalistic impulses, in order to create a successful modern state.

"But in 1958, in the name of nationalism, Toure voted against joining the political and economic community envisioned for France's colonies under the new constitution prescribed by Charles de Gaulle for the Fifth French Republic. Toure said would choose "poverty in freedom" over "riches in slavery." He might or might not have realized how accurate the first part of his statement was-he was living the second part.

"The French were furious with Guinea since it was the only African country to resist the new arrangement, and the reprisals were immediate and thorough… All of the French representatives in the capital city with Conakry, government officials and business men alike, pulled immediately, taking with them everything from colonial archives and government plans to light bulbs and the dishes in the governors' palace.

"They emptied out pharmacies and burned medications, rather than leave them behind. De Gaulle offended and vengeful, persuaded other Western governments to take his side in the dispute, but and so, overnight, Guinea found itself not only poor and backward, but also totally isolated in Africa and the rest of the world. Toure appealed for outside help, and the Soviet Union, sensing a rare opportunity, was alone in responding.

"What appears to have happened, however, is that in accepting Soviet largesse, Toure also adopted all the least efficient and most repressive aspect of the Soviet economic and political system. Despite an extraordinary natural wealth in bauxite, iron ore, uranium, gold, copper, cobalt, manganese, diamonds and hydroelectric power, guinea went from poor to poorer. Almost no element of the new nation's economy functioned smoothly, and even the traditional network of market women was gradually restricted in favor of stage-managed trading companies.

"Every bit of Soviet aid came with strings tatted, and Guineans often found some of their own precious food resources being canned and shipped out in order to help pay off the country's debt to Moscow, while other food was being imported at premium prices. The government still must had to pay the soviets Union, at that time, $25 million a year, and some observers accused the Russians of having smuggled out vast quantities of diamonds over the years.

Meanwhile, Cornarky became notorious as a headquarters for KGB activity in Aric, and the Soviets used Guinea as a base for reconnaissance aircraft. Cornarky's airport was useful to the Soviets during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, and later for shuttling Cuban troops to Angola…

"What Toure did for Democracy in his country, on paper, it looked like the world's purest Democratic system. He divided the country into minute administrative units through which the citizens would theoretically be consulted constantly on every imaginable issue of national policy.

"In reality, the people of Guinea suffered an insidious, uncompromising repression, managed by Toure's immediate relatives and members of his clan. Toure relentlessly pursued his opponents and detractors establishing detention camps whose population was carefully concealed; some of the inmates were tortured , others simply starved to death.

"He wrecked the independent trade union movement, his own former power base, and he broke the influence of Moslem, Christian, and traditional African religious leaders. Guinean exiles-perhaps a fifth of the population fled-told stories of purges and disappearances, but the president rejected appeals for objective, outside inspection with cries of self-righteous indignation. The persecution and executions often extended to members of the ruling circle.

"Those who fell out of favor, including at least two former Guinean ambassadors to the United States, and Diallo Telli, the first secretary general of the OAU. The main precept of Guinea's system became the worship of the paranoid Toure, who was known as the "Supreme Guide of The Revolution." Guinea, nonetheless, retained a circle of admirers and Toure-worshipers in the West, who paid attention to his theories and ignored his record.

"Toure's Guinea per capita income was around $230 per annual, and her people were the poorest in the world. In his own way of decision-making, Toure began to reconsider his economic decisions during the late 1970s, but it would take more than a change of heart to affect the national fortunes. Much of the country's resources were beyond the reach of investors, because the logistical transport infrastructure(roads and bridges) and train, etc., had never been built or arranged; to construct them later was more difficult and expensive, because of inflation and world-wide recession.

"Almost no one was being educated, and there was a chronic shortage of food. The country's agricultural development was set back by sheer neglect(Guinea produced 100,000 tons of bananas in 1960, but only 162 tons in 1982). They also damaged the forest by cutting forests for firewood, creating environmental mayhem and disasters. The failure to replant trees led to severe erosion of the soil and may have reduced the flow of rivers in the region, on which many countries depended on for their basic livelihood.

"Toure made one of the Third World's most remarkable and awkward about-faces. He embraced Islam more fervently than before and still claiming to be true to his original principles of socialism and nonalignment-offering himself as a political and philosophical successor of Yugoslavia's Tito - Toure opened his arms (and his country) to western business and diplomacy. He reestablished relations with France in 1975 and welcomed French President Valery Giscard d' Estain for a visit in 1978… He also travelled to France in 24 years. His frequented the United States, and flirted with American business, and Guinea was placed into hands of Chase Manhattan Bank, which sponsored seminars for American businessmen to negotiate personally with Toure.

"All of this culminated in a news conference that Toure gave at the Guinean embassy in Washington after a meeting with President Reagan, in the summer of 1982. He fancied and dressed himself up with his usual flowing white robes, and extolled the virtues of 'his dear friend David Rockefeller, former chairman of Chase, who had just been his host in New York.

"Sekou Toure played his role very well... Still hooked to the Soviet Union, Toure resumed diplomatic relations with some of the more conservative African States, including Senegal and Ivory Coast, he came out of his self-imposed isolated to play a greater role in such multilateral organizations like the OAU and ECOWAS. He even took a bold sep opposing the Polisario guerrillas in their war with Morocco over Western Sahara.

"Internal economic liberalization was also an obvious need. The country resumed a more normal commercial life, complete with market stalls, kiosks, and other small entrepreneurial businesses. As a result, the World Bank took a new interest in Guinea and began to encourage greater Western aid and private investment. This eventually caused turbulence in Guinea's political life, and those who believed in his doctrines were being asked to trade one orthodoxy for anotherSome in his inner-circles wanted him to remain to his original principles. Others pressed for faster change, and not only were outsiders wary and cautious of his fickleness, but he had credibility problems at home.

"With 90 percent illiteracy and an average life expectancy of only forty-one years, Toure's people were still far from the fulfillment they had been promised at independence. The best they could hope for in the short run was some relief from their hunger and despair. The decline continued even during the period of economic opening, with government revenues falling by 30 percent between 1982 and 1983; Toure was ill and increasingly out of touch, and even the narrow Guinean elite and favored units within the military became restless.

"Toure resisted being taken out of the country for medical treatment, but finally in March 1984, he permitted Saudi Arabia to fly him to Cleveland Clinic in Ohio for heart surgery. He died there on the operating table.


Unger sums this whole saga this way:

"During several days of national mourning, Guinea remained calm and, on the surface, respectful of Toure's 26 years in power. Dignitaries from all over the world, including the U,S. Vice President, George Bush, attended hi funeral. But a week after Toure's death, anticipating aa power struggle, within the Toure family and party's politburo, a group of military officers bloodlessly took charge.

"The opened the doors of the prisons and detention camps, and only then did some horrors perpetrated by Toure in the name of "revolution" become widely known. In death, the man, the man who portrayed himself as a 'god' was revealed to be a genuine villain. The new military regime promised the cities true economic liberalization,u under a free enterprise system, as well as free speech and liberty to travel inside the country and abroad. The firsts signs were encouraging; but with hospitals thad had no medications and other public facilities completely broken down, the soldiers had a daunting task ahead of them.

Ebola Drones

The US Department of Defense (DoD) is funding Ebola trials on humans, trials which started just weeks before the Ebola outbreak in Guinea and Sierra Leone. The reports continue and state that the DoD gave a contract worth $140 million dollars to Tekm

The US Department of Defense (DoD) is funding Ebola trials on humans, trials which started just weeks before the Ebola outbreak in Guinea and Sierra Leone. The reports continue and state that the DoD gave a contract worth $140 million dollars to Tekm

Ebola And the Poor Africans

A humanitarian aidworker assists in controlling Ebola in the West African nation of Guinea

A humanitarian aidworker assists in controlling Ebola in the West African nation of Guinea

Ebola Environ

Thomas Dempsey Academic Chair for Security Studies at the Africa Center For Strategic Studies (ACSS) writes:

The most recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa is different—and the difference matters not just to the afflicted nations but to all of us. The outbreak is a manifestation of a public health threat to the vital national interests of the entire international community. Even as it is in the midst of a truly heroic response to the outbreak, that community—and the NGOs and humanitarian assistance actors that collaborate with it—must learn the right lessons from the current outbreak, and must do so quickly. Developing better disease monitoring, better early warning systems, more rapid public health response mechanisms, and more robust local public health infrastructure and institutions in at-risk areas throughout Africa are all essential takeaways from the ongoing spate of Ebola cases that continue to multiply across broad areas of West Africa. An additional and important lesson of this outbreak may be that public health stakeholders will themselves require substantial support, primarily of a military nature, in order to access many of the areas in which the outbreak is occurring and to undertake the sustained medical relief effort necessary to contain it. The speed with which this support can be marshaled and deployed may have just as critical an impact on controlling the outbreak as the activities of health professionals combating the disease on the front lines.

This outbreak differs from previous Ebola epidemics in terms of the extent of the afflicted area, how rapidly and how widely the disease has spread, and the degree to which it has frustrated attempts at containment. Many of the reasons for these differences have less to do with the medical characteristics of the disease than with the chronic underdevelopment, lack of adequate health services, poor governance, insecurity, and endemic poverty native to the areas in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea to which the recent outbreaks have been localized. These same features also characterize the areas in Central and East Africa where previous Ebola flare-ups have occurred, however. Cataloguing and responding to what has changed since past incidences may prove key to containing this one.

In the past, the remote villages most susceptible to Ebola were isolated from each other and from larger surrounding communities, both geographically and in terms of communication. Past outbreaks thus remained largely localized to the villages in which they occurred. Today, Africa is a smaller place, with accelerating migration from rural to urban areas. Migrants to cities from rural areas are concentrated in equally underdeveloped urban peripheries, which have grown so quickly that they have overwhelmed the capacity of African municipalities to provide basic services. As a result, the conditions of chronic underdevelopment, poor health, inadequate services, and insecurity of rural and remote areas have migrated to major urban centers.

Electron micrograph of an Ebola virus environ (from the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions Public Health Image Library, made available on Flickr Commons by Global Panorama)
Electron micrograph of an Ebola virus environ (from the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions Public Health Image Library, made available on Flickr Commons by Global Panorama)

At the same time, the increased use of cell phones on the continent has enabled news of Ebola cases and local outbreaks to spread rapidly, widely disseminating horrific accounts of the disease’s symptoms and high mortality rate. The combination of a continuous stream of firsthand accounts describing the accelerating outbreak and the inability of national and local administrations to respond effectively has generated widespread fear and uncertainty. Local mistrust of deeply corrupt and ineffective state institutions—particularly related to security, but also health services and even a decreased faith in modern medicine itself—have contributed to a “flight” response among communities in which cases of Ebola have appeared.

The movement of what might be termed “health refugees” out of outbreak areas appears to be contributing significantly to the persistence of the most recent Ebola flare-up. Some refugees are no doubt fleeing deeper into the West African bush, using remote paths and tracks that straddle border areas throughout the Mano River region, knowledge of which is ubiquitous due to their use as highways for the fighters and weapons that have accompanied past armed conflicts. Because these pulses of health refugees are remote from seaports and international airports, their movements do not threaten to spread the disease beyond the Mano River region in the immediate future. Unfortunately, they carry a significant—and far more difficult to counter—longer-term risk of spreading the disease more gradually across West Africa, into regions that will be extremely difficult for health workers to gain access to and in which it will be extremely difficult for them to operate effectively.

On the other hand, the mass migration of African citizens to the urban sprawl that surrounds the cities of Monrovia, Freetown, and Conakry is moving the epicenter of the affected region to areas with immediate access to global transportation networks. The international community, national public health organizations, and international health bodies were slow to recognize this risk. (Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia has recently called for a more urgent and effective response.) Even now, that recognition is largely limited to restricting sea —, air— and ground-travel across international borders. The humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) community confronts major challenges in combating the outbreak in the dangerous, difficult to access, and poorly served shantytowns that surround national capitols and major cities in the outbreak areas. Population concentrations in these areas are far higher than in their rural counterparts; sanitation problems are correspondingly greater, and options for flight more limited. A major risk given this situation is the potential for a second or even tertiary Ebola outbreak to gestate in these poorly governed and insecure urban areas and gather renewed momentum.

The answer to the question of why the most recent Ebola outbreak should galvanize the international community into action is neither self-evident nor simply humanitarian in nature. It is a question the major actors on the world stage—those nations with the resources, institutions, and capacity to generate the necessary response quickly—must examine and answer critically. After all, as horrific as Ebola is, the number of infected individuals is still fairly limited, and the impact on the developed world—including the nations of Europe and North America, as well as global economic powerhouses like China—has been minimal. On a straightforward yet universally sobering level, however, the international community should move to address the latest outbreak because the same conditions that fostered the rapid spread and persistence of Ebola are likely to have a similar effect on other diseases, which may be far more communicable and pose a much greater threat. Imagine if the disease in question had been similar to the SARS or MERS virus, or even as mundane as a new and particularly virulent strain of influenza. The Spanish Flu infected some 500 million worldwide in 1918, ultimately killing between 50 and 100 million of those afflicted. Were such an outbreak to occur under similar conditions to those of the recent spate of West African Ebola, especially absent early recognition of the extent of the outbreak and timely measures to limit it, a global pandemic could result. In addition to the terrible suffering and loss of life within West African nations, the ongoing epidemic delivers a dire warning about how much worse things could get.

International Aid workers enter a West African village to combat Ebola

International Aid workers enter a West African village in Guinea to combat Ebola (© European Commission DG ECHO/EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection/Jean-Louis-Mosser, Flickr Commons)

On a level that should be encouraging to the international community, however, the current outbreak also offers an opportunity to develop a better understanding of how pandemic diseases manifest in the dynamic world of the 21st century. As international actors marshal the resources to support the courageous doctors, nurses, and local health workers who are laboring selflessly—and at great personal risk—to contain this outbreak, they must quickly learn how to distribute those human resources more swiftly to the affected areas of greatest need. The world must more rapidly furnish and deploy the equipment, personnel, security, communications, and logistics necessary to enable the effort to contain the outbreak. In the hardest hit areas of West Africa, this will probably require military support: rotary winged aviation, heavy air lift, trucks, fuel, power generation, and shelters, all of the resources necessary to enable an effective public health response. The world can and must learn from this opportunity, as it learned from the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, to collaboratively build more effective mechanisms to quickly identify major outbreaks with pandemic potential and efficiently respond to contain those outbreaks.

A cautionary note must be sounded with respect to deploying military forces in support of the containment effort, however. The use of military forces should be undertaken to support health workers combat the outbreak, not in an attempt to isolate entire affected communities. Unfortunately, the latter appears to have been the initial response of both the Sierra Leonean and Liberian governments. Isolating these communities with military or police forces is likely to further increase the fear and suspicion with which local populations in the area already regard state security services. Moreover, it is unlikely to prevent the continued flight of refugees from affected areas, and may in fact exacerbate them if local residents perceive the state to have abandoned their villages and communities. Instead, both national and international military forces can and should play critical roles in helping health workers reach vulnerable communities. Police officers and military personnel can also collaborate with health workers to better inform the public of common-sense measures to increase infected family and community members’ chances of survival while minimizing the likelihood of immediate caregivers, family, or community members themselves contracting the disease. The cell phones that are ubiquitous in even the most remote villages could become an important tool in this effort.

In the longer term, the states most at risk of serious outbreaks must effectively reduce their vulnerabilities to such diseases. Improving governance, particularly at the local level and in the area of public service delivery, will be essential to realizing this goal. Public health capacity, infrastructure, and surveillance must all improve as well. Security sector reform, focused not just on traditional physical security (including police, justice, and military forces) but on human security for the most at-risk communities, will be a key enabler of more immediate local response efforts. While addressing these issues is the primary responsibility of the states most at risk of a pandemic outbreak, every nation has a vital interest in assisting those states—and the communities within them—to reduce the risk of outbreak and increase regional and global resilience should an outbreak occur. When one’s neighbor’s house is on fire, it is a foolish homeowner who does not run to help put out the flames. And in today’s globalized world, everyone is our neighbor.

Ebola, The Facts, Not Hype

Everywhere you look, Ebola is on the news. Scary images of dying, bleeding West Africans are overplayed alongside scenes of medical personnel in space suit-looking isolation gear.  Movies like “Outbreak”, “28 Days Later”, and “Contagion” heighten our

Everywhere you look, Ebola is on the news. Scary images of dying, bleeding West Africans are overplayed alongside scenes of medical personnel in space suit-looking isolation gear. Movies like “Outbreak”, “28 Days Later”, and “Contagion” heighten our

Health Care Workers in Sierra Leon

A healthcare worker in protective gear sprays disinfectant around the house of a person suspected to have Ebola virus in Port Loko Community, situated on the outskirts of Freetown, Sierra Leone, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014

A healthcare worker in protective gear sprays disinfectant around the house of a person suspected to have Ebola virus in Port Loko Community, situated on the outskirts of Freetown, Sierra Leone, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014

Who Survives Ebola? Analysis Of First Cases In Sierra Leone Reveals Insights

Julie Steenhuysen writes

An analysis of the first Ebola cases in Sierra Leone helps draw a clearer picture of why some people survive the disease, while others do not, including their age and the pace at which the virus replicates within their body.

The study published Wednesday is based on data gathered from 106 patients diagnosed with Ebola at the Kenema Government Hospital in Sierra Leone from May 25 to July 18. Some of the data on this group was incinerated because of fears that the nurses’ station where the records were kept became contaminated.

But the team managed to analyze detailed clinical records from a total of 44 Ebola patients, the biggest trove yet from the outbreak in West Africa that has killed nearly 5,000 people.

“This is the first time anybody has had this much data collected on any Ebola patients,” said Dr. John Schieffelin of Tulane University in New Orleans, an author of the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

He said the findings help confirm some of the observations seen by doctors treating patients with Ebola.

It shows, for example, that 57 percent of people under age 21 who were treated for Ebola died from their infections, compared with 94 percent of those over the age of 45.

In the cases studied, the virus took six to 12 days to incubate before patients developed symptoms, and 74 percent of the patients in the study died, similar to what has been seen in prior outbreaks.

Fever was the most common symptom, occurring in 89 percent of patients, followed by headache (80 percent), weakness (66 percent), dizziness (60 percent) diarrhea (51 percent), abdominal pain (40 percent) and vomiting (34 percent).

However, there were some big differences in how individual patients responded to the virus, Schieffelin said.

“There were people who had very mild cases, and there are people who have very severe cases and they go downhill quickly,” he said.

One surprise was the significant difference in the amount of virus present in patients when they came in for treatment, a factor that affected whether or not they survived.

For example, 33 percent of patients with less than 100,000 copies of the virus per milliliter of blood at diagnosis ultimately died, compared with 94 percent mortality in those whose had more than 10 million copies per milliliter.

Among the various symptoms in this outbreak, Schieffelin said diarrhea is a “really big feature of it,” suggesting that doctors treating Ebola patients need to be very aggressive in administering intravenous fluids.

Bleeding, a key feature of Ebola in prior outbreaks, was rare among this population, with only 1 patient having this symptom, the study found.

Some researchers have questioned the value of spending resources on studying Ebola during the outbreak rather than using those funds to help curb the epidemic directly. Schieffelin said the analysis offers important insights for healthcare workers fighting the current outbreak, including data that can be used to determine new treatment and diagnostic approaches.

President Of Guinea Asks For Help to fight Ebola

President of Guinea Alpha Conde, center, listens as the heads of the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank discuss the Ebola outbreak at the World Bank in Washington, Oct. 9, 2014.

President of Guinea Alpha Conde, center, listens as the heads of the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank discuss the Ebola outbreak at the World Bank in Washington, Oct. 9, 2014.

President of Guinea Call for doctors To Come And Help With Ebola

Karim Camara informs us that:

The world’s response to Ebola is its own sort of tragedy

Two facts make the point clear:

After nearly getting Ebola under control in August, Guinea’s outbreak is worsening – as new cases in previously virus-free areas are being reported daily.

Guinean President Alpha Conde has called on the nation’s retired doctors to serve in the fight against Ebola. Conde said the collective experience is needed to educate health workers – who are at risk or spreading the risk to others.

Efforts to spread awareness of how Ebola is spread continues to be met with resistance by many Guineans, who either don’t believe Ebola is real or are fearful that medical personnel are actually spreading the deadly disease.

Lack of health care workers

Another major issue in Guinea is a lack of health care workers. And many of those in the field do not have the experience or training to contain the outbreak.

There have been numerous cases reported where doctors are refusing to put on medical gloves or take other precautions.

Ebola is spread by contact with body fluids from a sick person or the bodies of those who died from the virus.

Speaking in Conakry Tuesday, the president tapped into patriotism to inspire Guinea to tackle Ebola like Nigeria, which has been declared free of the virus.

Conde said Guinea is at war with Ebola and during a time of war, no one retires. He is calling on retired health care workers to think of themselves as soldiers.

In case his appeal to a sense of duty to the country isn’t enough, Conde said he is prepared to make it compulsory.

He said, “I am recalling you and most of you are heeding that call. But for those of you who resist, you will be forced to join the Ebola fight.”

Many willing to help

Many retired medical personnel expressed their willingness to join in the fight and those, like Professor Amara Sesay, said this move will save lives.

Sesay said the method in the fight against Ebola must be systematic and this is an opportunity to achieve that by improving our health sector.

Conde this week also has met with a cross section of medical students to recruit their skills.

Guinea has recorded more than 1,500 cases of Ebola, with more than 860 deaths.

The outbreak began in Guinea in December has spread to Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria and Senegal.

However, both Nigeria and Senegal have been declared Ebola-free this month – raising hopes the outbreak can be contained and stopped.

Ebola Copy