By Ogova Ondego
Published September 23, 2014
BBC World Service shall on September 26, 2014 discuss the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and the threat the haemorrhagic fever poses to Africa and the world.
Presented by Akwasi Sarpong and Dr Graham Easton from the Ghanaian capital, Accra, BBC Africa Debate will explore why the Ebola outbreak managed to spread so extensively besides looking at wider lessons to be learnt about containing local epidemics in today’s world.
“The Ebola epidemic has exposed the fragility of public health systems in the affected countries, with healthcare workers dying alongside their patients as they lack basic necessities. The epidemic also has exposed weak leadership from governments across the region, which have been slow to act, and revealed a potentially dangerous lack of trust from their electorates,” BBC says in a media statement released on September 23, 2014.
With so few doctors to care for Ebola victims, BBC says, non-related ailments are overlooked – with deadly consequences for the vulnerable. Meanwhile, economies have already been hit hard by cancelled flights and travel warnings.
“We are holding this conversation in Ghana where there are no confirmed Ebola cases but where health authorities are on high alert as nearby Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone are overwhelmed by the virus which has also claimed some lives in Nigeria. We will ask why initial response in the current virus attack failed. We want to know how future outbreaks can be prevented and contained when global travel is so easy. The Ebola debate also brings to the fore the need for more medical research into neglected diseases in poorer countries – and an effective response in case of any future outbreaks,” says Co-presenter Akwasi Sarpong.
Interested audiences will join the debate via social media, with conversations on Twitter and on Facebook and Google+.
The September 2014 edition of BBC Africa Debate will be broadcast by BBC World Service at 19.00 GMT on Friday, September 26, 2014 and will be repeated at 12.00 GMT on Sunday, September 28, 2014. The debate will also be online at bbcafrica.com.