Setting a new African agenda for victims of Ebola

Bernard Kwofie
"Everyone now appreciates the urgency of curbing the spread of Ebola. But nobody has taken the time to imagine the plight of those dying from the disease!" - Rachael Mumbi Gichuki, (Fellow Activist and Correspondent, Ignite the Youth Africa).

This is another ‘letter of my delusion’. It is in support of the ‘#EbolaZero Campaign’. What saddens me? Even as I write, our girls are yet to be brought back. I only have them in memory. I do not know what has become of them. What is even worse, is we all seem to have ‘shut our senses’ to their plights just as we are doing to the victims of Ebola. 

African leaders returned from Washington without them or a plan for them. Perhaps this is to be expected of Africa, we now have something more deadly than ‘terrorism’ in our hands to deal with. This is mere guessing, I am not for it. Neither am I speaking from thoughts. It’s a perception I am ‘birthing’ out of trend. 

But if you should ask me, then, bringing back our girls is still as relevant as curbing Ebola. And that we should have long dealt with terrorism and threats of violence in Africa (the consequent of which has brought this misery and isolation to our girls). 

At 15:00hrs GMT this Thursday, the Chairman of ECOWAS who also doubles as the President of Ghana (my very own President and countryman), is expected to deliver a statement at the 69th UN General Assembly. High on the agenda is the talk of Ebola. No ‘Chibok girls’.

Now, this is critical and we all agree. But this is all not enough for a virus estimated to reach 1.4m cases by late January 2015. We need to set a new agenda in addition to the quest to curb the spread of the virus. This new agenda should totally eradicate the virus. Ebola must not be left to stay in Africa just as with terrorism, poverty, conflicts, HIV/AIDS. We don’t need it to add to the numbers if I should be more emphatic. This should not be another ‘money making and donor funding’ avenue in the long run. 

Going further, the new agenda should essentially pay attention to the plights of victims and also give back to them as well as their relatives. It should give back to victims and their relatives; hope, citizenship, assurance, courage, neighbourliness, pride and a life after. It should provide supports to victims and survivors. It should encourage all of us to stand in solidarity with the victims and their relatives. 

That is why I agree with my fellow ‘African Youth Activists and Igniter’ Rachael Mumbi Gichuki, when she takes the lead in the campaign to ‘nil’ Ebola to call on all of us to take a stand. 
For us ‘Igniters’ we have ‘#UnitedAgainstEbola; we are making Africa rise above Ebola, and we are making ‘#EbolaZero’, a figure not to be scared of in the coming weeks. And this will need your voice, your piece and your thoughts.

I do not know how you would want to think of and remember the victims of Ebola and their relatives. But should it become the obvious. Then this is it simplest how; think of them in it scars. Think of them in orphans, widows, homeless kids, and in shuttered dreams and remember the victims.
To end it all, "we have a duty to recognise and take a stand. Come stand with me, Stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters - the victims of Ebola" - Rachael Mumbi Gichuki.

Writers Note:
#EbolaZero is an initiative of Ignite the Youth Africa, an online network of African Youth Activists dedicated to lighting the flame of young Africans to be active in Africa’s growth agenda. The campaign seeks to call on African Union and all to stand in support of victims of the virus as well as their relatives as way of promoting their dignity as humans who have merely fallen victims to circumstances.   

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