We moeten ebola op alle fronten bestrijden

PARIJS – Te oordelen naar de berichtgeving in de media in de Verenigde Staten en Europa over de ebola-uitbraak in West-Afrika zou je tot de slotsom kunnen komen dat de omstandigheden in de getroffen landen geleidelijk aan beter worden. Maar hoewel de epidemie niet langer een voorpaginaverhaal is, is het virus nog lang niet bedwongen. Integendeel: het blijft een ernstige bedreiging van de wereldgezondheid.

Ik ben onlangs naar Conakry, de hoofdstad van Guinee, gereisd, samen met de Franse president François Hollande, en heb vervolgens een bezoek gebracht aan Macenta, een landelijk district in de bosstreek van het land, dichtbij de plek waar de uitbraak is begonnen. Op beide plekken was ik persoonlijk getuige van de verwoestende gevolgen van het virus: het leed, de angst, de wanhoop en uiteindelijk de dood. Zelfs het alledaagse heeft een loodzware betekenis gekregen: niemand schudde elkaar nog de hand.

De waarheid is dat het ebola-virus zich blijft verspreiden – en snel. Toegegeven, in Liberia is het bedwongen, maar louter in Liberia, en zelfs daar is het volstrekt niet zeker dat zich geen nieuwe uitbraak zal voordoen.

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