Tag Archives: Ebola

Monrovia toe vir ‘n “joy-ride”

‘n Mens kan sommer baie leer by ‘n hond. Goete soos lê en dut in die son.  Drink baie water. Vat ‘n joy-ride elke kans wat jy kan!

My Ouma was reg toe sy sê ek is nes ‘n Maltees-hond: As die wiele draai – dan wil ek saam vir ‘n “joy”-ride. So gebeur dit dat my man gaan besighed doen in Liberië – Monrovia; ek wil saam –te bang en nuuskierig ek mis iets. Die Liberiese ambesade is in ‘n ou Koloniale herehuis stapafstand van waar ons woon in Akkra. As mens vir die vier ambesadestaflede, van die Kollenel se hoender, middagete koop, kry jy die drie-dae-wagtyd visas; sommer dieselfde middag nog.

Daar voel ek toe sommer baie veilig op my heel eerste presidentsieële vlug. Swoosh trek sulke slap Mercedes Benz mouters langs die vliegtuig in. Daar vlieg President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf en haar gevolg van vier dames saam.

President van LiberiaDis opmerklik dat so te sê al die witmans op ons vlug Afrikaanse myners, is – kakie kortbroekies en boepies wat span oor golfhemde. Hulle lyk ernstig – niks tyd vir grappies nie.  Die Liberiese Afrika-manne sit stokstyf die hele vlug deur onder wye Texas-cowboy hoede en agter Top Gun-donkerbrille. Met al daai Amerikaners wat heeltyd kom “peace keep” en olie soek en tap  – kan ek die Texas-invloed, duidelik sien.

Grootoog loer ek na al die reuse riviere hoe nader ons aan Monrovia se lughawe kom. Sekerlik kan net die Amesone riviere groter wees? Die president klim eerste af – baie interessant; net vrouens as lyfwagte. Sy bedank en groet almal en spoed daar weg.

Dit stort reën onverpoost.

Ook maar blond- ek was so opgewonde oor al die wildvreemde dinge wat my voorlê, dat ek my plat Apple Mac-maaitjie net daar in Akkra, op die lughawe se stukkende stoel vergeet. Ons klim ‘n taxi vir ‘n uur se rit na die kusstad, Monrovia. Drie oproepe later, nog oppad na die hotel- bevestig my man my Mac-maaitjie is teruggevind en ‘n oulike Ghanaian vrou hou dit in veilige bewaring op die Akkra lughawe vir my. Met my geloof herstel in die ganse mensdom, ry ons voort.

Die pad is goed en ek sit agter in die mouter en druk my neus teen die venster en kyk die reën en statjies buite verbyglip.  By ‘n T-aansluiting druk ‘n nat-agter-die-ore-donkerbril-soldaat sy AK47 in ons taxidrywer se neus op. Trurat agtertoe, want die President se sirene-kawelkade loei verby en daar bevind ek myself skielik tussen die sitplekke van die taxi toe ‘n groot vier by vier ons gatslag van agteraf. Heeldag se polisiedrama en grootgeld -as dit in Ghana was! Die taxi bestuurder vlieg om die mouterkar, gryp die buffer en gooi dit in die kattebak. Ons is stil-oorbluf. “Ok…ok”, sê-vra sy. Ons knik en daar ry sy verder, “no life-loss”, verklaar sy en daar gaat ons voort.

Ons word met hartlikheid ontvang in die Hotel. Dis net Amerikaase “peace keepers” en UN bloudoppe al om ons.  Snazzy Hotel, “baie fênsie” sou my vriendin Louisa opmerk.

Te pragtig - heerlike kos - en vriendelike staf.

Te pragtig – heerlike kos – en vriendelike staf.

Liberië het die hoogste tropiesereënval in Afrika – en daar’s reënwoud ondeurdringbare bosse en orals is reëwaterpoele waardeur mense knie-diep ploeter – hulle onthou nog waar is die voetpaadjie en slote. Dit lyk soos elke ander Afrikaland, ingerygde bont twee vertrek sementsteen huisies met sinkplaat-platdakke. In ons drie dae besoek, het dit vir enkele ure, opgehou strortreën.

Hier rits ons deur die water rond na een van die lap-informele markte

Hier rits ons deur die water rond na een van die lap-informele markte

Elke derde, fênsie vier-by-vier mouter is beplak as een of ander hulp organisasie. Die res is ou 1970-vergete roeskoetse soos Peugeot en Datsun. Met ‘n vrou as president, is die meeste wagte Indiese en Israeli vroue soldate. My taxi bestuurder is ‘n vrou – in soldaat soorgelyke univorm, die hotel loodgieter en padwerkers en vulstasie werkers is almal vrouens.   Voor jy by enige hotel, restaurant, geld wisselaar, supermark instap, word jy met ‘n temperatuur plastiek pistool op die voorkop gerooi-kol. Net met ‘n normale temperatuur kan jy voort. Orals staan waterkanne en pompieseep-middels. Voordat jy iewers instap – was jy hande. Al die water van die spoggerige hotelkrane is roesbruin, al die ander water orals van krane en toiletter is rooibruin. Net bottelwater is sprankelskoon.

Die Liberiese mense slurp hulle woorde se sterte in as hulle al bulderend Engels praat. “Ca I ge yu a be, Ma?” is “Can I get you a beer, Mate?” en jy moet fyn luister om kop of stert uit te maak.

Ek was na die informele mark toe om bont Afrika lap te koop. Als is verspoel, mense vra waar in Amerika ek vandaan kom.

Met net een wit Afrika boorling - klomp glimlagte en verbaasdheid

Met net een wit Afrika boorling – klomp glimlagte en verbaasdheid

Van hulle ontmoet vir die eerste keer wit gebore Afrika-boorling en klap so in die sit, hulle knieknoppe van verbaasdheid. ‘n Paar vra of ek nie Albino geboe is nie.  Als is geprys in Amerikaanse dollar eenhede. Die lokale geldeenheid is soos die Zim dollar in sy peetjie in.

Bont Afrika Lap gekoop in Monrovia

Bont Afrika Lap gekoop in Monrovia

Na drie dae is als te snel verby. Ebola of te nôt – ek sit en wag by die voordeur vir my volgende joy-ride.

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No Ebola

Ebola freaks out the uninformed

Click on Playlist top left corner —> select the second Video….

Russell Howard really tells it the way it is! Click to subscribe to his posts TODAY.

At least he does not make fun of the actual disease but he definitely takes the uninformed apart.

Let me state that at this very moment in time we have had NO actual infected person or death directly related to Ebola in Accra, Ghana. It really freaks me out how people think that all of West Africa is infected. They should rather be MUCH more specific about the countries that are affected by the Ebola outbreak. Africa is a continent and not a country.

No Ebola

No Ebola

(Please refer to the map above.)

Not a day goes by that a friend or relative does not enquire our health and the effects of Ebola. At least some are asking the hard questions; others are hiding their heads in the sand in the hope that this dreadful outbreak will just quietly disappear. Of course Ebola affects our lives, every day in some or other way.

Expats are being pulled from Ghana at an alarming rate. The ones that left, are not being replaced. Now I am not saying that Ghana or West Africa’s economy is on the brink of collapse without expats, rather that expats represent large international companies. It’s a ripple effect, when large companies extract, so does their investment.

Each time a rumour started that an infected person arrived at a clinic, the medical staff at that clinic went awol (absent without leave). They literally ran away, and deserted their posts. http://news.myjoyonline.com/news/2014/August-1st/we-will-run-from-ebola-patients-coming-to-korle-bu-doctor.php

At present an Ebola command post or headquarters are being set up in Ghana. Lets hope this is only a post from which they will distribute supplies and medics, and not actually treat patients. http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2014/09/un-sets-ebola-headquarters-ghana

Wake up, educate yourself

Do not avert your gaze

If you knew that a bomb was about to go off, surely you would do anything in your power to stop it. Taking into account the human loss and your own safety. The next six weeks are of vital importance.

Currently we are sitting on a time bomb. All of us know about it, but the penny has not dropped; yet!

In December the first cases of Ebola started surfacing in Guinea and Liberia, and after about four thousand died since the outbreak. No serious alarm bells yet. Then a mere two cases were registered in Texas that the World made a bit of a fuss. Not enough yet to have a significant impact. People feel strangely disconnected from those out worldly white suited workers. The next six weeks shall be a serious turn around point for the whole world. Ebola is not ‘top of mind’ for countries unaffected by Ebola and that is the real treat. Watch this space, the table is about to turn.

Without boggling you with smart maths and stats, let me enlighten you to the low down of it all. Believe me this epidemic will become pandemic in the next 6 weeks. At present it exponentially doubles every three weeks. At present 4500 died, 9000 are infected. In six weeks that will change to a 100 000 deaths and 1.4 million infections. The current effort to curb it is too slow, and the resources promised and pledges is coming in too little and too late. This is a bleak outlook indeed. Now if 70% of the current 9000 were to be quarantined, we might have been able to turn this thing around. But imagine trying to logistically quarantine 1.4 million infected people. If 1.4 million are infected, the whole world would have reached a turning point, and Ebola might somehow affect each person at some point or another.

As usual, America is blowing their two infected cases completely out of proportion, placing the spotlight on them and diverting the real focus of the epidemic in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Panic can definitely spread the virus. The solution to curbing it is rapid education and serious financial intervention. Mr Duncan from Liberia spent 10 days with his family, none of them are infected. Two medical personnel that treated him while he was dying in hospital became infected. But I hear schools in the state of Ohio and Texas are considering to close because he travelled through the state! Three cases and Obama declares CZAR, put that in perspective.

Nigeria and Senegal are shining examples whom successfully contained the spread and has been declared Ebola-free after 21 days of no new cases.

Here in West Africa, Ebola news related coverage is 24/7 about 80%. In six weeks from now, it might be the same all over the world. This as I said should be the case right now. The clock is ticking.

It’s only human to think the only option is to stop all flights to and from West Africa, and of course that was most countries immediate solution. That decision would be made upon the fear factor and not logic. Imagine you’re in a country, where ever. Your whole family were infected, some has died, and you are left-the only survivor. Do you still think all borders should be shut? Those countries affected are in urgent need of medical supplies, medical gear and food supplies. Without flights, how are those supplies to reach the affected country? Military presence to maintain peace and stability is a necessity. . Each affected country is loosing at least 30% of their GDP. It has a huge impact on the work force, economic and logistics of transporting food and medical supplies.

Currently we are talking about the treatment and deaths of infected people. Fifty years from now we will talk about the economic impact this epidemic had on the world’s economics.

In this modern age, it’s normal for people to travel for all kinds of reasons apart from business and commerce. It’s only human to unite families spread all over the continents, and it’s human to do anything to survive this epidemic. So people are traveling to Ebola infected countries and wishing to leave it for different personal reasons. The only way to curb infection is to step up airport health screening all over the world.

I know most people’s reaction is that the affected countries must financially ‘sort themselves’. Come on, be realistic. Which African country actually budgeted for an Ebola outbreak? Within the first 3 months all their excess development funds were reallocated to managing the day-to-day onslaught of the outbreak. By now, 6 months later, they are scraping the bottom of their actual spending capital. Just imagine in Sierra Leone, all of the districts are now infected. To minimalize the spread, each district is quarantined from the next. So logistically, no food can distributed nationally. Now imagine trying to feed your Nation on a day-to-day basis, when they are not producing their own food as before.   Any country would go belly-up in a matter of weeks. Sierra Leone and Liberia has reached that point already. Imagine trying to contain a scared, terrified and hungry Nation. Still think they should sort themselves out? Back to my Military support, get it a.s.a.p. And no, I am not suggesting the UN Peace Keepers. Send ones who can actually use guns to keep desperate people from killing actual survivors. CNN estimates the Ebola crises could amount to costs of 32 billion. We are talking about people’s lives, send the aid, and stop splitting hairs. Or consider how much your own country will need to spend to manage the Ebola infections once it reaches your borders.

Can you hear the ticking of the time bomb yet?

This is a ripple effect. Many people are standing with their heads buried in the sand, saying they have no infections, and it’s not their problem. In 12 months from now, you’ll realize how wrong you were. By them, it would have affected each and everybody somehow.

Keep in mind that the media is using a general brush reporting that West Africa is infected. Really – that upsets me because of only 6 countries have had infections and two were declared Ebola free this morning! And maybe I should mention that it freaks me out that reporters say Ebola is in Africa. Seriously, Africa is not a country, it’s a continent. Maybe I should mention that Italy is closer to Liberia than South Africa, and thy have daily ships and boats loads of refugees.

I cannot stress enough that education and information is part the key to our solution. Because of ignorance, people are stigmatizing the disease. The same thing happened in the early 80’s with Aids. It is said that a man survived Ebola in Liberia. His car broke down, and nobody in his community would touch his car in fear of contracting the disease. If you mention you are from West Africa, people take a step back. The AFCON Soccer tournament in January is due. Soccer supporters boo-ed the players from Senegal and Liberia in recent games. Come on, be realistic! In the UK, a Sierra Leone reporter was turned away from her rented accommodation due to stigmantation.

Fact: A person can carry the virus and not show ANY symptoms for 10 days.

So many can travel without a fever, and not show any signs, reach a country and spread the virus.

Fact: A person only transfer the virus once he/she shows symptoms.

Medical personnel should have this on the TOP of their Minds 24/7.

Fact: The virus is ONLY transferable with body fluids.

Sweaty touched surfaces are infections for a few hours.

So go and read NOW all you can about Ebola. Educate yourself and inform others around you.

Do not avert your gaze…

Start at website called Eboladeeply.org