Everyone’s seen the stories …
Ebola has become an epidemic in Liberia and Sierra Leone because those West African countries don’t have the resources to cope with the disaster. This is largely true because both countries have been torn apart by war.
Wikipedia notes regarding Liberia … the epicenter of the Ebola crisis:
Under Taylor’s leadership, Liberia became internationally known as a pariah state due to the use of blood diamonds and illegal timber exports to fund the Revolutionary United Front in the Sierra Leone Civil War.
The Liberian economy began a steady decline due to economic mismanagement following the 1980 coup. This decline was accelerated by the outbreak of civil war in 1989; GDP was reduced by an estimated 90% between 1989 and 1995, one of the fastest declines in history.
Civil war strife ended in 2003 after destroying approximately 95% of the country’s healthcare facilities. In 2009, government expenditure on health care per capita was US$22, accounting for 10.6% of total GDP. In 2008, Liberia had only 1 doctor and 27 nurses per 100,000 people.
As to Sierra Leone, Wikipedia points out:
Government corruption and mismanagement of the country’s natural resources contributed to the Sierra Leone Civil War (1991 to 2002), which over more than a decade devastated the country. It left more than 50,000 people dead, much of the country’s infrastructure destroyed, and over two million people displaced as refugees in neighbouring countries.
But what most Westerners don’t know is that our governments are partly responsible for the war that ravaged those countries’ healthcare infrastructure. …