Gesundheit in den Zeiten von Ebola

NEW YORK – Im Afrika südlich der Sahara sollte jedes Kind, das Fieber hat, schnellstens medizinische Hilfe bekommen, um dem Tod durch Malaria oder Lungenentzündung vorzubeugen. Aber während in Liberia – und auch in Sierra Leone, Guinea und Nigeria – die Panik über die Verbreitung von Ebola zunimmt, bringen die Menschen dort zunehmend Klinikmitarbeiter und Gesundheitseinrichtungen mit der Ausbreitung der Krankheit in Verbindung. Um zu gewährleisten, dass sie bei Bedarf weiterhin Hilfe in Anspruch nehmen, müssen die Kliniken verbessert und die Investitionen in vor Ort eingestellte Gemeindekrankenpfleger (GKP) verstärkt werden, die die Hilfsbedürftigen zu Hause erreichen.

Natürlich war das Gesundheitssystem Liberias schon lange vor dem Ausbruch der Ebola mangelhaft – etwa 28% der vier Millionen Einwohner des Landes haben keinen Zugang zu adäquaten Gesundheitseinrichtungen. Durch die umfassende Friedensvereinbarung von Accra wurden zwar viele Jahre des Bürgerkriegs beendet, aber danach gab es im Land nur 51 Ärzte, und die Infrastruktur war stark dezimiert.

Angesichts dieser geringen Anzahl an professionellen Gesundheitsexperten ist für die Reparatur des Gesundheitssystems mehr erforderlich als der Bau neuer Krankenhäuser oder Kliniken in Liberias dicht mit Regenwald bedecktem ländlichen Raum. Glücklicherweise erkennt die Regierung ebenso wie in anderen afrikanischen Staaten die Notwendigkeit, in die Ausbildung von GKP zu investieren, die abseits der Städte Durchfall, Lungenentzündung und Malaria behandeln können – die drei Haupttodesursachen bei Kindern unter fünf Jahren.

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