NIGERIA’S EBOLA PARABLE

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The symptoms include a headache and fever. This could be referring to any number of ailments, most of which do not have up to a 90 percentile chance of resulting in death, nor the notoriety of being a global health emergency that has been declared a threat to international peace by the United Nations. Ebola is a dreadful disease unlike any other in recent human history. It strikes both young and old, disregards lifestyles, evades well-funded health systems, has a penchant for health workers and well-meaning individuals who rush to the aid of a sick neighbour or loved ones. It is a scourge that limits human contact and instinct for compassion, threatening to return humanity to a cold dark age when life was about survival of the fittest and we lived in a man-eat-man existence. Or not?

 

When it first became known to the outside world, Ebola was dismissed by the West as a tribal disease that would probably burn itself out within the jungles of a Africa or with any luck, one which would implode on the continent leaving the rest of the world free - finally - from the burden of the inhabitants of the dark continent and maybe somewhat inevitably, give the more deserving first world a clear run of its rich, abundant and under-utilized variety of natural resources. It seemed that the world had finally been given the recipe to clear its conscience and blot Africa out once and for all. Little did the world know that mother-earth has no intention of allowing her first-born son to disappear without a fight.


As most of us kept our heads buried in the sand, the scourge embarked on a journey that appeared to be acting out a script taken out of an Aryan Nation utopia manual, a master-stroke of pure genius in racial annihilation. Death boarded a flight to Africa’s most populous nation - a nation with a reputation for corruption, self-interest, ineptitude, indifference to the public good and a decrepit public health system. Surely, once it was unleashed on Nigeria’s unsuspecting 150million-strong population, Ebola would emerge as the cataclysmic monster it was determined to be in Africa. While the rest of the Nation slept, a group of unsung Angels battled Ebola at the city-gate and triumphed over the hydra-headed monster. Not without casualty, this team of health professionals fought Ebola to a stand-still. Not a few succumbed to the disease, surprisingly fewer paid the ultimate price that left the rest of the world marveling at this unrivaled feat in public health response since the virus first left its host environment to make appearances in Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Australia and Nigeria.

 

Heaven stood still over Nigeria and set this least likely of Nations as a sign and a parable. Survivors’ tales reading like a Bible story that exalts faith, hope and love; it is clearly nothing short of a miracle – in multiples - that Ebola did not become a pandemic in Nigeria. Instead, it represents the greatest hope of a Nation: that Nigeria has what it takes to succeed and to triumph over its enemies. If at one of the most trying times in the Nation’s history; a time when it was locked in battle against a relentless, marauding force that threatened to destroy it on one hand; predictions of being no better than a failed state on the other hand; yet Nigeria won its battle against a far more insidious foe that crept up without warning. A grudging admiration emerges for this Nation of bungling, happy-go-lucky, devil-may-dare people: Nigeria might yet prove all the political pundits wrong.

 

 

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Last Updated on Friday, 15 April 2016 18:52
Written by strategydirector


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