Ebola in Perspective

Questions about Ebola keep coming with regards to safari travel in east and southern Africa. The decease is on the front pages of the media and new cases in the US and Spain increase worries and fear. While safari companies try to explain, that the affected region in West Africa is further away from the safari destinations in east and southern Africa than Europe, the decease indeed made the move out of Africa into the western world, without any safari guest being involved.

However, it was
not the geographical location of Spain, which caused the infection of a nurse, but mistakes in the procedures when treating an Ebola patient. The Ebola patient in Spain was brought from West Africa to Spain for treatment, but the staff on the ground in the affected region might have been more qualified to do that, than the hospital in Spain. None of the cases had any connection with southern and east Africa, where the safari destinations are. Top safari destinations like Botswana took already weeks ago strict precautionary measures by denying entry to travellers coming from the Ebola affected countries in West Africa.

Another angle to put
Ebola into perspective are numbers. So far about 4,500 people died of Ebola. In Africa die every year about 500,000 people of malaria and about 1,000,000 people of Aids. The New Yorker has explored an interesting comparison in the article “Ebola vs. Flu” from 13 October 2014. More people die from flu every year in the US, than so far from Ebola in West Africa, but we seem to think about the flu as something normal.

It is expected, that the outbreak will be
under control within three months. Specialized professionals do great work on the ground in the affected region and international aid is coming in.

Ute Sonnenberg for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa