Les services de santé au temps de l'Ebola

NEW YORK – En Afrique subsaharienne, un enfant atteint de fièvre doit recevoir des soins médicaux immédiats pour empêcher qu'il ne meure de paludisme ou de pneumonie. Mais alors que la panique de la propagation du virus Ebola gagne le Libéria ainsi que la Sierra Leone, la Guinée et le Nigeria, la population concernée associe de plus en plus les professionnels et les établissements de santé, avec l'exposition à la maladie. Veiller à ce qu'ils continuent à se faire soigner quand ils en ont besoin demande des améliorations dans les cliniques et les investissements de première ligne destinés aux agents de santé communautaire (ASC) recrutés localement, afin de soigner les plus vulnérables dans leurs foyers.

Evidemment, les lacunes du système de santé du Libéria sont bien antérieures à l'épidémie d'Ebola, avec environ 28% des quatre millions de citoyens du pays sans accès aux équipements adéquats. L'Accord de Paix Global d'Accra a peut-être mis fin à des années de guerre civile, mais il a laissé le pays avec seulement 51 docteurs et a réduit les infrastructures à néant.

Dotée d'une poignée de professionnels de santé qualifiés, la restauration du système de santé demande davantage que la construction de nouveaux hôpitaux et de cliniques à travers les forêts tropicales denses du Libéria. Heureusement, le gouvernement local, ainsi que d'autres en Afrique sub-saharienne, reconnaissent la nécessité d'investir dans la formation d'ASC dans les districts ruraux afin de soigner la diarrhée, la pneumonie et le paludisme, qui sont les trois principales causes de décès chez les enfants de moins de cinq ans.

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