Letter to the editor

Patrick Smith

Ebola is not a laughing matter.

In last week’s edition of The Villanovan, the opinion section featured an article entitled “Watch out, Ebola: ‘Tis the seasonal jolly-bug going around campus.” 

I take issue not with the article, but with the headline that the editorial staff grafted onto it. The current Ebola epidemic has caused over 6,200 (documented) preventable deaths, ravaged economies and highlighted massive disparities in infrastructure and global health. Juxtaposing this catastrophe with a playful article displays insensitivity, ignorance and, perhaps most troubling, indifference.

Although Ebola has recently fallen out of favor with the American news media, it is critical that students understand that the fight against diseases like Ebola is not over. Without a serious investment in the staff, equipment and systems that enable global health equity, we risk new outbreaks, unprecedented in scope or severity, on local and global stages. 

I believe we can do better. I believe that we can speak about these issues in an informed and compassionate manner that affirms our belief in health as a human right. 

Students interested in learning more can follow updates through the BBC’s World Africa section. Those desiring to contribute to the fight should consider donating to Partners In Health, an internationally renowned non-profit that, with local partners in Liberia and Sierra Leone, is addressing urgent medical needs and building the sustainable systems that we need.