Punishing the Heroes: When Politicians Make Public Health Decisions.

By Eze Eluchie on 08/12/2014

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Quarantine.

The unimaginable scenario of a Farmer making decisions as to when and where to conduct an appendectomy or other medical procedures; or a Medical Doctor having the final say of how many floors to add unto a multi-storey complex, is vividly transformed into a real life horror when persons versed in extracting votes from a hard pressed population take upon themselves the arduous responsibility to, without any recourse to available science or relevant professionals, make decisions which adversely impact public health.


The recent decision of some State Governors in the United States (Governors of New York, New Jersey and Illinois States) ordering a mandatory quarantine of all health workers who traveled to work in countries overburdened by EVD upon their return to the States controlled by these Governors, is a most unfortunate and irrational public health decision taken by those who are apparently solely concerned with pandering to the whims of pedestrian fears and posturing to be ‘protecting’ a population scared by misinformation.

The mandatory quarantining of returning health workers is morally and practically equivalent to applying same quarantine policies to US soldiers and military servicemen returning from military operations overseas.

The reality is that these health workers who traveled to EVD ground-zero countries to assist in tackling the disease at source are heroes who are contributing their quota to ensuring that EVD is contained and does not spread around the globe. Actions, such as the knee-jerk policy being implemented in the 3 States of the US mentioned above, which stigmatize and virtually criminalize these health workers upon their return to the United States will directly serve to dissuade professionals whose expertise is greatly needed to stem the spread of EVD from volunteering to serve in countries where they are most required. The mandatory quarantining will serve to dissuade many professionals who are willing to participate in confronting EVD in the countries where it is attaining near endemic status, thus allowing the disease to further proliferate, eventually and ultimately becoming a greater danger to entire humanity, inclusive of the States taking the unhelpful ‘mandatory quarantine’ decisions.

Oddly enough, the small island State of Cuba, by deploying over 400 health care professionals to EVD ground-zero countries, is taking global leadership in the field of humanitarian and medical assistance, a field where the US once reigned unchallenged.

I do urge a rethink and eventual cancellation of the mandatory quarantine policy presently adopted by some States in the US.



http://ezeluchie.blogspot.com/2014/10/punishing-heroes-when-politicians-make.html

 

Posted on December, 8 2014

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