The Ebola disease is caused by the Ebola virus and it affects humans and other primates such as chimpanzees and monkeys. It has a very high risk of death, with around fifty percent of all infected patients succumbing to the disease. For one to survive the Ebola virus, it is critical that they see a doctor very early, with access to laboratory services being key.
Nutrition is also very important to the cure of the Ebola disease. This is because vital nutrition and consumption of the proper foods will boost the immune system, highly increasing the chances that the victim will survive the Ebola attack. This is especially crucial for young kids, who are at the highest risk of succumbing to this killer disease.
Kids who are malnourished have a very weak immune system. If they contact the Ebola virus, they are much more likely to succumb because their natural defenses cannot fight the virus. This is why the UN World Food Programme, also known as WFP, has been very vocal in looking for money to feed over one million people in the three nations worst affected by Ebola; Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
The food that the United Nations is spreading in these countries is a specially designed peanut paste which is being fed to the small kids, also known as plumpy’sup. The good thing about this meal is that it is ready to eat, requires no preparation whatsoever and is safe. It is also easy to distribute and lasts long without going bad.
These countries are already grappling with very high incidences of Ebola, and with levels of malnutrition, poverty, hunger and food insecurity already being very high in the countries, the situation is critical. The food assistance is a very key component of fighting the Ebola virus, and care is being taken especially with the already infected who have to stay in quarantine for up to 21 days, and if they are not fed properly they will not have a healthy chance of surviving. Many of these patients do not have the EHIC card which can provide the necessary support, and are therefore reliant on government services and donations from well wishers. Anyone can donate by visiting the WFP website.
Reasons why the vital nutrition to containing the spread of Ebola must be shared with urgency is that, in countries such as Guinea, eating wild bats is considered the norm and a delicacy. The wild bat has been noted to be a key spreader of the Ebola virus. It is crucial that the other foods supplied by World Food Programme get to these areas as soon as possible so as to contain the spread of the virus and mitigate any long term effects such as poverty, malnourished children growing up with stunted growth as well as mental problems, and the regional economy sliding even further down the drain.
In a nutshell, the Ebola virus has debilitated the economies of the three countries worst affected, guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Many farmers are not going to the farm, or the market, and kids are hungry. Food is needed to avert hunger, strengthen the immune system especially of kids and breastfeeding mothers, and to allow the economy to remain strong. Vital nutrition is key.