This week, President Obama is expected to announce the assigning of approximately 3,000 military personnel to help fight Ebola in West Africa – a disease that, if untreated, can wipe out humanity. In support of the efforts, the Pentagon has requested Congress to invest $500 million in overseas contingency costs. A disease that has killed over 2,200 people in several West African countries, Mr President will appear at the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta to announce the fight against Ebola.
To support the overwhelmed local health care systems and to treat the victims of this dreaded disease, US administration officials stated that they would be providing medical and logistical support as well as boost the number of beds to help the cause. In order to fully support the fight against Ebola, Mr President’s initiative will include training of approximately 500 health care workers every week and establishing 17 health care facilities that feature 100 beds each. This initiative will also require setting up a joint command which will be headquartered in Monrovia, Liberia, to synchronize communication between the US and the international relief efforts.
The officials will also be providing health care kits to families in West Africa, of which, this week, 50,000 kits will be delivered to Liberia from the U.S. Agency for International Development. Furthermore, to train local population on how to handle exposed victims, the officials will be carrying out door to door campaigns to better educate them. The US has taken the initiative because its military has the capacity to set up quarantine camps, therefore the initiation request falls under the jurisdiction if the Pentagon. Because this disease threatens the fragile governments in Africa, the fight against Ebola is, to some extent, considered a national security issue because it could lead to more opportunities for terrorist safe havens in Africa.
According to some sources, the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing with Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey will be held this week. According to numerous health experts, the dreaded disease is expected to kill 10,000 before six months from now, and some experts believe that at least 500,000 deaths may be recorded before the virus has been eliminated. The senior Republican on the Senate’s health committee, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., was quoted stating, “This is an instance where we should be running toward the burning flames with our fireproof suits on. This is an emergency. We need to recognize it, and we need to find and work with other countries in the world that recognize it.”
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