埃博拉与创新

波士顿—在仍在肆虐的埃博拉危机中,损失的不仅仅是生命。在关于如何对抗这一病毒的最新讨论中,科学和医学的系统严密性不敌夸张的政治和公共歇斯底里。诚然,用了解情况、数据驱动的公共政策管理当前的大爆发仍必须成为最高优先项。但同样重要的是评估这场传染病的教训并确保我们做好准备抗击其他疾病的出现。

我们必须从最近的埃博拉大爆发中汲取两大教训。首先,与一种疾病的斗争绝不能以牺牲整体医疗体系的强度为代价。医疗体系分散的国家也许可以在非政府组织和外国政府的帮助下处理某些小病,但当面临意料之外的新疾病的爆发时,可能出现非常危险的毫无准备的情况。

比如,在利比里亚,五岁以下儿童疟疾患病率从2005年的66%下降到了2011年的32%以下。尽管如此,当今年早些时候埃博拉病毒从相邻的几内亚进入利比里亚时,该国的卫生基础设施马上就被摧毁。2,000多利比里亚人因埃博拉丧生,并且埃博拉至今仍在肆虐。类似地,除非提高整体医疗体系水平,否则在某些领域——比如对抗埃博拉——表现出色的其他国家也仍可能面临巨大的伤亡数字和长期经济动乱。

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