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Showing posts from October, 2014

The next battle to kick out Ebola: Battling stigma and fear

While the death toll continues to rise from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the rest of the world is gripped by fear. This fear is a common human reaction to something like Ebola, a highly infectious disease that can spread rapidly with no known cure. Indeed, this is scary. But the stigma that is becoming associated with Ebola is even scarier.

We are hopeful that with all the attention that this outbreak is now receiving, it will soon be under control. Our biggest challenge, however, is how to get rid of the stigma surrounding the Ebola outbreak for the affected areas and the people from these areas.

I have seen several Facebook posts of people launching sensitisation campaigns informing the public and their Facebook friends, that by being a citizen of the affected country, they do not automatically carry the virus. Campaigns like "I am a Liberian, I'm not a virus", and "I am a Sierra Leonean, I'm not a virus" are becoming commonplace on social media.

I&…