Friday, September 19, 2014

Guinea: Ebola Health Team Members Killed By Villagers



# 9094



Details continue to emerge on the horrific slaying of (reports range from 7 to 9) members of an Ebola health team this week in Wome - a small village near Nzerekore in the southern part of Guinea - with this latest report from the BBC.


19 September 2014 Last updated at 04:58 ET

Ebola outbreak: Guinea health team killed

Nine members of a team trying to raise awareness about Ebola have been killed by villagers using machetes and clubs in Guinea, officials say.

Some of the bodies - of health workers, local officials and journalists - were found in a septic tank in a village school near the city of Nzerekore.

Correspondents say many villagers are suspicious of official attempts to combat the disease.


A government delegation, led by the health minister, had been dispatched to the region but they were unable to reach the village by road because a main bridge had been blocked.

(Continue . . .)


One of the huge problems in combating Ebola has been the belief – perpetuated in some cases even by local media – that Ebola is either not real, or part of some evil plot hatched by the western world (see WaPo article Largest Liberian Newspaper: US Government Manufactured Ebola, AIDS Virus) to kill Africans.


All of which makes working in the hot zone doubly dangerous. 


Adding to the challenges of educating the public, the literacy rates in West Africa are among the lowest on the continent, with Guinea coming in 49th (29.5%) out of 52 African nations.  Sierra Leone fares only slightly better (35.1%) and Liberia is just shy of midway in the pack, with a literacy rate of 57.5% (source The African Economist).


How much of a chill this latest tragedy will put on Ebola outreach efforts in the more remote areas of Guinea remains to be seen, but this incident – and the Health Ministry’s inability to launch a timely rescue mission -  illustrates how little actual control the government has over some regions of their country.

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