Health and Disease

In what ways are followers of Jesus demonstrating God's loving character through caring for the sick, preventing disease, and even attempting to eradicate some diseases?

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Reflection: Ebola, AIDS, Malaria: Good News and Bad News and (Unfortunately) More Bad News

Originally posted August 2018

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“Bats? Insects? Fungi? With a new outbreak of Ebola declared in the DRC, we need to #OutsmartEpidemics and find where the virus hides.” (The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) is a new organization that develops vaccines to stop future epidemics.)



Managing this Ebola outbreak is going to be a massive logistics puzzle. Populations distrust one another, refugees, militias, indigenous villages—and nearby national borders. High level of internal displacement and existence of refugee populations in and near the DRC Ebola outbreak area adds another layer of complexity to the response, in particular for community engagement. UN News reports on the Ebola outbreak in DRC’s North Kivu: “All of those participating in the response must be able to move freely & safely in conflict areas to do the work that is needed to bring the outbreak under control.”


The New York Times reports:

” The Ebola outbreak that began in the Democratic Republic of Congo in April was declared officially over on Tuesday in what appeared to be twin triumphs for a new vaccine and rapid response.

Just 33 people died, even though the outbreak reached Mbandaka, a river port city of over one million people. At one point, experts had feared the virus might spread throughout Central Africa.

Three years ago, an Ebola outbreak in West Africa cost more than 11,000 lives. Health agencies were slow to respond, and no vaccine was available until it was nearly over.

The last known case in Congo occurred in early June, and the World Health Organization declared the outbreak “largely contained” three weeks later. Declaring it officially over, however, required waiting 42 days — the length of two viral incubation periods.”

Read the rest of the article here.


A new Ebola outbreak was declared in northeastern Congo’s North Kivu province yesterday. The World Health Organization’s emergency response chief said it will be complicated and perhaps impossible to use a vaccine to tackle the new outbreak.


But on the same day this success was reported, another report, from The Foreign Policy Group, has this headline: ” Welcome to the Next Deadly AIDS Pandemic.” The subtitle goes on to say: “The world thought it had fought the HIV virus to a stalemate—but its strategy was flawed in ways that are only now becoming clear.” Read the rest of the article here.

Africa’s Medical Digest reports on a Lancet commission that found that “a ‘dangerous complacency’ in response to the global HIV pandemic is risking a resurgence of the disease.” Read the full article here.


The CEO of the Gates Foundation tweeted this recently:

“Brazil is set up and ready to wipe out #malaria for good! They have access to a new radical cure + an already free healthcare system + a talent pool brimming with technical expertise. Next step: get #tafenoquine to patients & we’ll be on the road to elimination!”

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