Ebola Outbreak - Updates
The current Ebola outbreak in Africa is the most severe case to date in the history of the African continent. There have been more than 1,145 fatalities with hundreds of additional suspected cases. Since the origin of the outbreak in Guinea, neighboring countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria have also been effected and are taking precautions to help isolate and prevent further spread of the virus.
A healthcare clinic in Liberia was recently looted, resulting in the escape of 17 suspected Ebola patients. When news of this incident was released, the Liberian government responded by saying the patients had been relocated to another hospital during the raid. The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that exit screenings are a necessity for all travelers in affected areas. The 17 patients voluntarily checked themselves into the Liberian clinic, and public officials have stated they are fairly certain the patients will return.
Ebola is a deadly virus with no known cure or vaccine. The current outbreak is killing an average of 55% of infected individuals. However, two CDC workers who were exposed to an infected Ebola patient were given a test vaccine that previously had only been tested on animals. Within 24 hours of taking the vaccine, the patients showed tremendous improvement. The drug, known as ZMAPP, will begin clinical trials on human beings beginning in September of 2014.
Kenyan Anti-Terror Unit Corrupt
Image source - http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-28836753
A US and UK funded anti-terrorism unit in Kenya is currently under investigation after a rights group announced that the unit was carrying out "horrendous" acts of violence with the Kenyan government being fully aware of these terrible occurrences. The unit was first established in 2003, after the 1998 bombing of US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya.
An activist group has stated that the actions of the anti-terrorism unit are not protecting Kenya from terrorism and are in fact undermining the rule of law. Reports state that documented evidence indicated at least 11 cases of harassment and mistreatment, 10 cases of enforced disappearances, and 10 cases of killings. In conclusion, anti-terror units' actions should not be associated or similar to acts of terror or violence.
African Elephants - Poaching Deaths
A recent study suggests that more African elephants are being killed each year than are being born. Since 2010, it is believed that approximately 35,000 African elephants are killed every year on the continent. At this rate, African elephants can become extinct within 100 years. Actions must be taken by public and government officials to prevent further poaching. The illegal trade of elephant tusks is a huge business for poachers, with a kilogram of ivory being worth several thousands of dollars.
In the last decade, elephant numbers in central Africa have fallen by nearly 60%. However, there are places located throughout Africa that maintain healthy elephant populations that are increasingly growing, such as Botswana. Several stockpiles of ivory and elephant tusks have been located and destroyed in an effort to help prevent further trade.
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Written by Steven Carpenter