U.S. Ebola Aid Could Tamp Down Fear in West Africa
Fear of the disease and mistrust of health care workers has disrupted response and damaged the economies of already fragile nations.
President Obama this week promised the United States would provide more than $750 million and 3,000 soldiers to combat the worst Ebola outbreak in history, committing to build medical facilities and train health workers.
But equally important, say humanitarian workers and public health experts, is the hope that America's aid could bring to a demoralized and terrified West Africa.
The world is fighting a rapidly escalating epidemic, but it also must battle the fear that has kept people from admitting they are becoming ill, the lack of trust that had led them to keep sick loved ones hidden from officials, and the hopelessness that could rekindle civil strife in the region.
Ishmael Alfred Charles, a humanitarian aid worker in Sierra Leone, predicted