We should take a moment to honor the doctors & nurses treating the Ebola epidemic in Liberia, Sierra Leone, & Guinea. Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) has 2,000, including 200 volunteers; last week Cuba dispatched 165 medical staff to Sierra Leone & will be sending 296 more to Guinea & Liberia when they finish training in how to deal with Ebola.
A medical degree in almost any country affords a comfortable life & for men & women to put that aside for dangerous humanitarian missions merits only the highest respect. With the exception of a photojournalist & Thomas Duncan, the man who contracted Ebola & died in a Dallas hospital, those affected thus far are medical personnel. We witnessed the same extraordinary humanity among doctors & nurses in Gaza during Israel’s barbarous Operation Ethnic Cleansing.
In ignominious contrast, Israel at first refused to send medical personnel to West Africa for fear of contamination. After realizing this only added to their growing image problem, they reneged & will be sending a few mobile units. The US feels no shame in sending 4,000 men with guns in place of doctors & nurses.
Rebukes aside to the hundreds of countries who haven’t lifted a finger to address the epidemic, we honor those men & women who express the most decent & glorious qualities of humankind by risking their own lives to serve.
This is a Doctors Without Borders health worker in Paynesville, Liberia. The little girl & her mother showed symptoms of Ebola & are waiting test results.
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)