Contribution To The Ongoing Ebola Conversation

By Kandakai Sherman

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
August 21, 2014



This commentary is my contribution to the ongoing conversation on how best to move our country forward, as it is obvious from our 167 years of existence that our level of development – whether in infrastructure, civil rights, or human resource capacity- does not commensurate with our age. There’s an abundance of historical literature already out there on our checkered nationhood: missteps, wrong choices or lack thereof, missed opportunities, etc, etc.  Our failure to undertake meaningful, sincere and concrete steps throughout this time for inclusive nation building laid the groundwork for what culminated into an explosive outcome, dubbed our civil war.

Now that we are attempting to course correct, it is important to remember that if we aspire to get different results that are better than those of the past, we have to be creative and innovative in our national decision making processes. We have to be careful not to reintroduce or apply some of the same old stale and tired policies of yester- years which did not yield valuable or treasured results for our people. (A recent Daily Observer editorial provided a refresher on the wisdom of manufacturing finished products from our natural resources, as opposed to exporting the raw materials as we’ve been doing since the 40’s 50’s,60’s – “Charlie King time”). I shall return to the discussion on exporting our raw materials another day. For now however, I like to turn to our healthcare system, since it is the most prominent topic at this time due to the Ebola epidemic we’re currently facing.

As I read through the many reports from Liberian news outlets and international accounts, one of the most meaningful pieces of information that we should not lose sight of is the number of Medical Doctors in the country, reported to be anywhere from 150 to 200.  Now, if you consider the number of Medical Doctors that are produced/graduated annually (estimate between 20 to 35 per graduation class), it is clear that we have a long way to go in meeting our Doctor to patient ratio in the near term. We’re not producing fast enough, and our population is growing.  In the meantime, here are some immediate and long term action steps to consider as our health care administrators and medical professionals work diligently to contain this outbreak, and then move on to improving our health care delivery system:

1. We should utilize the multiplier effect of technology through telemedicine to allow our few Doctors to reach twice as many patients as possible throughout the country.  This will require not only a commitment, but also a significant investment in quickly developing and expanding our technology infrastructure, especially our fiber optic and Wi Fi capabilities. A Doctor in Monrovia should be able to ‘virtually’ visit or consult with a patient in Vahun, Lofa County thru an established, functional system. This is within the realm of possibility and reality. The telephone landline remained a pipedream for many in Liberia of yesterday. Today, the cell phone has traversed almost every corner of our country.

2. We should negotiate for complimentary foreign Medical Doctor assistance from other nations to help us while we build our capacity. I’ve heard of Nigeria contributing in this regard. Maybe we should also consider reaching out to Cuba for assistance. They are reputed to have one of the best Doctors to patient ratios in the world (according to the World Health Organization). Cuba currently has many doctors seconded to other South American countries to assist those neighbors’ health care delivery systems.

3. Let’s decentralize the Ebola response hotlines (if not already being done). Some of our citizens are complaining that when they call, no one answers or response, hence one of the reasons some bodies are dumped in the streets. The different Ebola reception and holding centers around the country should have their own hotlines for easy access. In the event where operators are not reachable because of demand, callers should have the option of leaving a voice mail so that they can get a return call as soon as possible, followed by prompt action.  This will help to reduce the tension and frustration arising out of the communication breakdown.

4. In addition to the education campaigns promoting preventative steps like washing of hands, and avoidance of contact with infected victims, the disease control unit/division of the Ministry of Health should also be actively collecting and analyzing  valuable data that will help us perhaps find a cure for Ebola, or better control and contain future outbreaks. We should also be collecting blood samples/specimens from our survivors to use in clinical studies. The antibodies that the survivors created against the disease will prove beneficial in researching for a cure. I would bet if we are not collecting specimens or blood samples, other organizations are already doing it.

5. As a lesson the Ebola outbreak is teaching us, we can no longer lean heavily on the reactionary and response approach to problem solving.  In this age of rapid globalization where international travel is making interconnectivity among nations and peoples more common, we can no longer wait for epidemics to hit us before we start scrambling for solutions. Let us begin to study many, if not all of the various communicable diseases throughout Africa that have not yet afflicted us. Let’s learn from those regions and countries well in advance so that we can prevent outbreaks, or that we are better prepared to respond should we be hit.

Our problems are many, enormous and daunting. We need creativity, outside the box thinking and unrelenting execution to solve them.

About the author: Kandakai Sherman is a Service Desk Team Lead at Ascension Health, the largest Catholic & nonprofit healthcare system in the United States, whose mission-focused health ministries employ more than 122,000 associates serving in more than 1,400 locations in 21 states and the District of Columbia.  He can be reached at:


Gardening for what what what some saints have full of viagra online kaufen in hamburg. Food and pestle an afoul of comparison between order cialis online for sale collaborative teams.
viagra_online at 04:45PM, 2015/08/04.
thanks for this significant edifying website, finance up the massive position check out this [url=]online casino[/url] offers
WinstonJarie at 12:48PM, 2017/02/04.
agree doused this [url=]casino[/url] where you can conquer genuine notes with the serve of this enchiridionPlaying [url=]blackjack[/url]
Jasonket at 02:20PM, 2017/02/08.
thanks benefit of this countless illuminating website, keep up the massive undertaking check out this [url=]casino[/url] offers
WinstonJarie at 09:09AM, 2017/02/20.
thanks benefit of this countless illuminating website, living up the great position check out this [url=]online casino[/url] offers , buy [url=]sex toys[/url]
WinstonJarie at 09:27PM, 2017/02/23.
study out this [url=]online casino[/url] where you can prevail in genuine funds with the avoid of this lightPlaying [url=]roulette online[/url] , buy [url=]sex toys[/url]
Jasonket at 09:27AM, 2017/03/11.
thanks benefit of this significant illuminating website, finance up the massive work check out this [url=]online casinos[/url] offers , buy [url=]sex toys[/url]
WinstonJarie at 08:01AM, 2017/04/04.
stupendous website! income fidelity up the cyclopean work. visit my website only if you are overwhelming 21 check this [url=]online adult toys[/url] portal, [url=]email server[/url] , buy [url=]Dildo[/url]
Thomasber at 12:49PM, 2017/04/18.
Bobbo Lasontas
Buy Cheap Essay

[url=]Buy Cheap Essay[/url]
Bobbo Lasontas at 09:55AM, 2017/04/23.
cheap paper writer services usa order ecology speech cheap literature review ghostwriting services for school best buy essay ghostwriters services us professional order essay ghostwriter websites uk cheap phd business plan topic top order essay ghostwriting services for school cheap problem solving ghostwriter site ca buy content writers service for college order remedial math dissertation conclusion [url= ]cheap phd essay writers sites au [/url][url= ]write custom buy essay on pokemon go [/url][url= ]annotated bibliography ghostwriting services online [/url][url= ]order blog writer websites usa [/url][url= ]buy mba analysis essay example [/url][url= ]order paper ghostwriters service for school [/url][url= ]help with my professional creative essay online [/url][url= ]cheap critical essay editor service online [/url][url= ]buy research proposal proofreading services au [/url][url= ]buy school course work ideas [/url] order phd essay ghostwriting services pay for my best cheap essay online order university essay writers websites gb cheap thesis statement proofreading services uk custom content ghostwriting services online thesis proofreading for hire online cheap dissertation chapter editor site ca buy dissertation proposal ghostwriter website usa cheap content writer website uk custom order essay editor services au [url= ]critical analysis writers service online [/url][url= ]buy letter proofreading services for mba [/url][url= ]order application letter ghostwriter sites for college [/url][url= ]buy essays writer services au [/url][url= ]buy best essay editor site gb [/url][url= ]do my cheap reflective essay on founding fathers [/url][url= ]buy sociology dissertation proposal [/url][url= ]help with top order essay on brexit [/url][url= ]buy persuasive essay proofreading site gb [/url][url=http://xn--80aaemc1acon0ay6c.xn--p1ai/index.php/component/users/?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&task=user&id=19256 ]order business admission paper [/url] order professional critical essay on presidential elections order term paper ghostwriters service gb buy rhetorical analysis essay ghostwriters for hire for school cheap annotated bibliography editor sites cheap paper editor site us order admission essay writer for hire for mba cheap mba essay writer services au popular admission paper editing service online order college essay samples order essay editing service for phd [url= ]order dissertation conclusion ghostwriter services ca [/url][url= ]cheap biography writer website for college [/url][url= ]popular creative writing ghostwriters for hire online [/url][url= ]cheap thesis editor services [/url][url= ]buy resume ghostwriters services for school [/url][url= ]buy essay editor websites for mba [/url][url= ]buy dissertation hypothesis writing services au [/url][url= ]cheap dissertation abstract ghostwriter website ca [/url][url= ]buy papers writers website for mba [/url][url= ]cheap cheap essay editing websites au [/url] buy papers writer sites us cheap admission paper ghostwriter services for school order mba essay ghostwriter for hire gb pay for my book review online write cheap academic essay on trump cheap masters essay on hillary clinton custom dissertation conclusion ghostwriter websites online buy biography editor website for phd buy creative essay ghostwriters for hire for college buy order expository essay on hillary [url= ]order admission essay ghostwriters website uk [/url][url= ]popular expository essay writer site online [/url][url= ]order speech writing for hire ca [/url][url= ]best cheap essay writing site for mba [/url][url= ]pay to do cheap school essay on lincoln [/url][url= ]persuasive ghostwriting site online [/url][url= ]buy essays ghostwriters services uk [/url][url= ]buy blog ghostwriter services for mba [/url][url= ]buy problem solving writers sites ca [/url][url= ]order definition essay editor service for masters [/url]
MariamVierm at 11:42PM, 2017/04/23.

Post your comment

You can use following HTML tags: <a><br><strong><b><em><i><blockquote><pre><code><img><ul><ol><li><del>

Confirmation code:

Comments script

© 2014 by The Perspective
To Submit article for publication, go to the following URL: