Ebola is the virus striking fear into hearts all through the world. Here are the countries where the epidemic originated and continues. For us in the west, it seems impossible that it can’t be contained because we have provisions for patients to be quarantined. I have a personal tale which may shine light on part of the problem.
I have a dear friend from this part of the world. I will call him KD and not include his country but it is one of these Western African countries. KD was visiting in our house when he developed a huge and smoldering boil on his back. I knew nothing to do but take him to a medical emergency center. KD seemed nervous, so I went into see the doctor with him. The proscribed treatment was lancing the boil and a numbing shot and another for antibiotics. KD literally grew pale.
“What is the matter?” I asked.
“In my country, people die after getting shots!” KD replied.
With some encouragement , he had the shots and thankfully didn’t die!
But you see the mindset of the West Africans who fear doctors and going to the hospital because people die there. And KD is an educated, world traveler who still remembered what goes on when you are sick in his country.
Now people are dying quickly and horribly in this section of Africa. People fear Ebola and the treatments. When their family members die, it is tradition for the family to bathe the body, but that is the worst thing with patients who have Ebola. There are definite burial procedures recommended. These cultural traditions and fears are obstructing the World Health Organization and others who are trying to stop this epidemic.
This story, I hope highlights not only the Ebola tragedy but others throughout the world where cultures and traditions clash. As we learn from each other on WordPress we hear what others feel and think , if we still don’t understand hopefully we can acknowledge each others humanity.
Have you learned about different cultures and traditions that are different from yours?