By Brian Gray
I would probably be correct to speculate that many people regard the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa to be of no consequence to our way of life here in far away and disease-free Canada. Hopefully some additional information about EVD should give pause for thought.
As a result of enforced primitive economic conditions, such as the austerity imposed by the IMF and World Bank’s Structural Adjustment programs, the Ebola outbreak poses the reality of impending biological holocaust, The lack of medical personnel in an area where 80% of the population lives in abject poverty is a salient issue. Under the breakdown of the world economy, Africa-style conditions are spreading—and disease will follow.
Lyndon LaRouche forewarned of the genocidal results of these policies a full forty years ago in 1974, when he set up a task force to study the worldwide biological-ecological breakdown, and emergence of new diseases that would ensue if the “zero-growth” economic policies then being imposed upon Africa, were maintained and came to prevail more widely.
To prevent the danger of pandemics, he advocated for Africa in particular, as well as the rest of the world, water, power, and infrastructure so that productive economies could be built, and modern, in-depth public health, and sanitation systems installed, and medical care established. In other words, to reverse the process of the British Empire’s physical economic devolution of our planet.(1)
On Aug. 8, Dr. Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organization declared the West African Ebola outbreak an international health emergency: “This is the largest, most severe, most complex outbreak in the nearly four-decade history of the disease. I am declaring the current outbreak of the Ebola virus disease a public health emergency of international concern. Countries affected to date simply don’t have the capacity to manage an outbreak on this scale on their own.”
The situation in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, the epi-centre of this outbreak is pretty much hopeless and indeed difficult to convey in words. The last WHO report has estimated that over 10,000 people have died. Ralf Suedhoff, head of the Berlin office of WHO attacked the lack of an efficient food-aid program for Ebola-stricken West Africa, citing that those that don’t succumb to EVD will die of starvation.
Before this crisis hit the “air waves” and therefore into some peoples’ consciousness, Liberia had a total of 61 physicians and 1000 nurses. As of August, thousands of patients have perished and due to inadequate protective gear 235 of those nurses have died. Sierra Leone, a nation of over 6 million people has a mere 327 hospital beds. That country’s President Koroma repeatedly over the last number of months has outlined his country’s most immediate and minimal needs: 1500 more beds; an additional 750 doctors; 3000 nurses and 1500 support staff; 200 ambulances; five new testing laboratories; and 200 vehicles for burial teams and other workers. Unlike some of the platitudes from Mr. Harper at the recent UN meetings concerning infant mortality, President Koroma at a World Bank meeting did not mince words: “We have clearly stated what is required, and what is required was required yesterday. Commitment on paper and during meetings are good…but commitments as physical facts on the ground are urgently required.” In fact, Cuba is the only nation that has responded in any meaningful way by establishing a hospital facility staffed by 165 medical personel since the begining of October.
Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Centre for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University Of Minnesota and other public health and infectious disease specialists have warned repeatedly for months, a genuine military-style mobilization is needed to defeat the Ebola epidemic in West Africa before it spreads beyond control. In a recent radio interview Osterholm stated “If this virus moves east into cities like Nairobi and KInshasa your going to see an explosion of cases. There are more people living in the slums of Kinshasa than live in all the slums combined of the three countries now impacted. We can’t fight adequately in one front, how are we going to do it in multiple fronts?”
Quite obviously this fight requires money. US Senator Bernie Sanders(Ind. Vt)has revealed that there has been approximately $17 Trillion spent by the US Federal Reserve, mandated by the Obama administration, to bail out the “too big to fail…too big to jail” Wall Street banks. How many trillions have been wasted by the British/American/Nato regime change wars over the last decade? Filthy lucre trumps humanity’s general welfare. Rather than ramping up budgets for war and eliminating human life, advanced sector nations should refocus their budgets for what Bolivian President Evo Morales has succinctly called “solidarity to save lives.”
As to Canada’s role, our PM has announced around $65 million in aid as Canada’s contribution to fight this deadly virus. There has also been $30 million allocated for education and health security programs here in Canada. To many people this may seem as a reasonable or even a laudable response. Yet, earlier in April of this year Harper announced a $200 million aid package to assist the russo-phobic, anti-semitic nazi junta in Kiev. Stephen Harper’s priorities seem somewhat askew, his moral compass off kilter. Obviously, the political leadership of our country needs some input of ideas, some recomendations on how to attack this pandemic. The Committee for a Republic of Canada of which I am a member, in consort with the Larouche political movement in the US and after consultation with health care experts, have presented a comprehensive strategy to save as many human lives as possible. As an independent candidate in the South Okanagan West Kootenay riding, presented here for Mr. Harper’s benefit, albeit briefly, is the most effective plan of action:
- An international steering committee, with representation from appropriate American and Russian military planners and medical specialists, must be immediately constituted to coordinate a global, top-down effort to utilize all available international resources to defeat the Ebola outbreak.
- A coordinated military operation is needed.This must include emergency airlifting of medical equipment, trained personnel, and adequate food supplies to treat the relevant African population .The use of hospital ships from the United States, Russia, and other available nations must be immediately brought to the coast of West Africa to aid in the effort to immediately reduce the death rate, while preventing the geographic spread.
- An coordinated international effort must be launched, drawing in all research specialists from around the globe to rapidly develop, test, and mass-produce a vaccine for Ebola. World standards for trials must be maintained while vastly accelerating the process.
- Preemptive plans to immediately detect and treat new Ebola cases outside the West African “hot zone” must be put in place worldwide.(2.)
Anything less than this approach will not only be woefully inadequate but should be considered criminally negligent.
There does exists hope for our aching globe. Countries representing nearly half of the world’s land mass and half of the world’s population have aligned around the BRICS nations of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. New financial mechanisms have been established. The New Development Bank(NDB) is designed to fund infrastructure projects within these participating and other nations. Also established is a Contingent Reserve Arrangement(CRA) with $100 billion to help nations deal with capital flight and other forms of financial warfare. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank(AIIB) and the planned Shanghai Corporation Organization Bank are of equal importance as these banks are not geared toward profit, but rather toward investment in the real economy. A new breed of leadership has emerged at a time when humankind faces certainly one of the most perilous and decisive moments in history.
It is well past time for a profound shift in the political policy of our country. Canada must abandon the dictates of the dying British Empire. Quit the Brits…Join the BRICS.