The Racialization of the Response to Ebola and the Ideological Search for a Cure, M. Frindéthié

Ebola vaccineWith Ebola going global, the international race to develop a vaccine against the deadly disease has also intensified. Formerly restricted to a few poor African countries, the Ebola epidemics had received negligible attention from the main pharmaceutical conglomerates who saw very little if any benefit at all to be gained from developing a cure against the disease. However, as the latest Ebola outbreak seems to indicate that no frontier can remain invulnerable from the fatal virus, there has emerged a sudden awakening for self-reflection and unexpected awareness of “universal brotherhood.” Last week, officials of the WHO (World Health Organization) have hinted that an upcoming report on their response to the Ebola outbreak might reveal laxity and bias. Now, with the understanding that the racialization of the response to Ebola could be detrimental to people of all races and places, major pharmaceutical multinationals are working to come up with their own cures against the disease.

Paradoxically, in the scramble to develop a vaccine, old East vs. West unhealthy rivalries could impede progress. To wit, though significant progress toward a vaccine has been made by such countries as China and Russia, and though Cuba had sent hundreds of doctors to Liberia and Sierra Leone long before the West’s arousal, it is still the West’s efforts that are widely reported. What is needed in the fight against the global disease that Ebola has become is a global, concerted effort, not ideological posturing.

 

On Russia and the fight against Ebola: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/russian-scientists-develop-new-vaccine-to-fight-ebola-virus/505967.html

On China and the fight against Ebola: http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/569570/20141015/ebola-china-vaccine-mortality-rate-who-virus.htm#.VEheo_4tDIU

On Cuba and the fight against Ebola: http://www.smh.com.au/world/who-cares-about-ebolahit-west-africa-cuba-does-and-its-sending-doctors-20141023-11aebn.html

On Canada and the fight against Ebola: http://www.travelerstoday.com/articles/13157/20141019/cure-for-ebola-found-canada-to-ship-800-vials-of-experimental-vaccine-china-claims-to-have-found-cure.htm

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