Saúde em Tempo de Ébola

NOVA IORQUE – Na África Subsaariana, qualquer criança que sofra de febre deve receber cuidados médicos imediatos, para prevenir a morte por malária ou pneumonia. Mas, à medida que o pânico pela propagação do Ébola toma conta da Libéria – bem como da Serra Leoa, Guiné e Nigéria – as pessoas desses países associam cada vez mais os médicos e as instalações de cuidados de saúde com a exposição à doença. Para que as pessoas continuem a procurar cuidados quando deles precisam, são necessárias melhorias nas clínicas da linha da frente e investimento na contratação de profissionais de saúde comunitária (PSCs) para chegar aos mais vulneráveis que estão em suas casas.

De facto, as insuficiências do sistema Liberiano de cuidados de saúde precederam em muito o surto de Ébola, com cerca de 28% dos quatro milhões de cidadãos do país sem acesso a instalações adequadas. O Acordo de Paz de Acra de 2003 pode ter acabado com anos de guerra civil, mas deixou o país com apenas 51 médicos e com uma infra-estrutura dizimada.

Com muito poucos profissionais de saúde qualificados, a reconstrução do sistema de saúde obriga a mais do que a construção de novos hospitais e clínicas na densamente florestada zona rural da Libéria. Felizmente o governo, como outros na África Subsaariana, reconhece a necessidade de investir na formação de PSCs nos municípios rurais para tratar a diarreia, a pneumonia, e a malária – as três maiores causas de morte em crianças com menos de cinco anos.

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