SOMEWHERE OTHER THAN THE EVENING NEWS—Sources confirmed Monday that of the millions of Africans who died in the past year, nearly all perished due to factors entirely unrelated to the Ebola outbreak. Health officials were reportedly shocked to find that, besides a handful of cases in West African nations, most premature African deaths stemmed not from a single pathogen, but rather from a familiar array of long-standing social, economic, and political problems that have beset the continent for decades.
“Ebola sounds like the worst,” said Jahru Kenyeta, who lacks consistent access to clean water. “I mean dying of thirst is awful, predictable, and entirely preventable–but dying of Ebola? That sounds scary. I bet even people in developed countries are afraid of that.”
While the global community grows ever fearful of the recent Ebola threat, millions of Africans will reportedly not even live to be threatened by the harmful pathogen.
“Over three million Africans could die from Ebola. I don’t know what could possibly be more frightening for the people there,” said CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, who is apparently unaware of the continent’s ongoing struggle with hundreds of other much more salient problems. “There should be an Ebola vaccine by now, clinical trials be damned. We needed a solution yesterday.”
Due in part to increasing public and governmental pressure drug companies have announced that they are closer than ever to having an Ebola vaccine, though those suffering from other communicable diseases such as Measles will presumably have to wait.
“I get it, Ebola is the sexy communicable disease right now,” Said Ebele Jonathan, at an AIDS clinic that would soon close, but for right now could provide him with the life saving anti-viral drugs he needed. “I’m really glad that pharmaceutical countries are so selflessly moving forward on finding a viable Ebola vaccine. That is so like them, thinking of the greater good instead of the bottom line. A real inspiration to all of us.”
Despite the fact that Ebola has had little substantial effect on most Africans daily lives, many are happy that the world is starting to take notice of their issues.
“People say the international community isn’t doing much, but I hear they are quarantining doctors returning from West Africa now. It must take at least a couple TV appearances to stoke that kind of fear, and a couple phone calls to coordinate that kind of response,” said Nadim Sabah mother of three children who will succumb to illness related to poor prenatal nutrition before the age of five. “It used to feel like the world kind of would willfully ignore what was happening around here. But I got to meet Anderson Cooper yesterday, so that was cool.”
When reached for comment, leading governments said they would continue to “coordinate with” the African continent for the use of its natural resources while providing little support for infrastructure, medical care or general humanitarian aid.