Ebola und kommende Zeiten

WASHINGTON, DC – Die Vereinigten Staaten und Europa haben auf wenige Einzelfälle des Ebola-Virus innerhalb ihrer Grenzen völlig überreagiert. Diese panischen Reaktionen sind nicht nur sinnlos. Indem sie wissenschaftliche Grundlagen missachten, setzen sie sich über das grundlegende ethische Kriterium für zwingend erforderliche Maßnahmen zum Schutz der öffentlichen Gesundheit hinweg. Und wenn es um den Schutz von Bürgern vor Ebola geht – ganz zu schweigen davon, den Ausbruch vergleichbarer globaler Gesundheitskrisen in Zukunft zu verhindern – kann es gut sein, dass diese Reaktionen kontraproduktiv sind.

Die ungeheuerlichsten Beispiele, in denen über das Ziel hinausgeschossen wurde, haben sich in den USA ereignet, wo die erste Reaktion in der verstärkten Kontrolle Reisender aus Guinea, Liberia und Sierra Leone bestand. Problematischer war die in mehreren US-Bundesstaaten verhängte 21-tägige Zwangsquarantäne für freiwillige Gesundheitshelfer auf der Heimreise aus von Ebola betroffenen Ländern in die USA. Glücklicherweise hat Gegenwind aus der Politik schnell dafür gesorgt, dass die Gouverneure einiger Bundesstaaten die Quarantänebedingungen gelockert haben.

Es ist an der Zeit, dass Industriestaaten erkennen, dass die beste Methode ihre Bürger vor Ebola zu schützen darin besteht, dabei zu helfen, die Ausbreitung des Virus in Westafrika zu stoppen. Dafür ist zuerst und vor allem eine so genannte „surge response“ notwendig – also die rasche Entsendung erfahrener Koordinierungsexperten und anderer Fachkräfte im Bereich humanitäre Hilfe – in die drei besonders schwer von Ebola betroffenen Länder. Eine solche Hilfsmaßnahme muss durch ausreichende (und erhebliche) finanzielle Mittel und gut ausgebildete Ärzte, Krankenschwestern und Gemeindegesundheitshelfer gewährleistet sein und durch die Verbesserung der Kapazitäten vor Ort für die Diagnose, Behandlung, Ermittlung von Kontaktpersonen und die Isolierung infizierter Personen untermauert werden.

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