By Lynn R. Mitchell
The Good Samaritans of the world hoping to help stop the spread of the dangerous Ebola virus have been attacked by villagers in Africa and now eight have been killed by stoning.
According to Fox News (see At least 8 Ebola aid workers reportedly killed ‘in cold blood’ by villagers in Guinea), those killed included journalists:
At least eight Ebola aid workers and journalists were reportedly murdered and dumped in a latrine in a remote village in Guinea in a frightening example of the growing distrust locals have of foreigners coming to help stem the mushrooming health crisis.
But this violence toward health workers hoping to help is not new:
Complicating efforts is the lack of education in remote areas, where some residents don’t believe the virus exists. Last month, in the same area where the aid workers were killed, people rioted out of fear that workers disinfecting a market were contaminating people, according to the BBC.
The killings are believed to be the first resulting from resistance to international efforts to curb the Ebola outbreak in the region. Other aid teams have been forced to turn back by crowds in several locations, and a treatment center in Monrovia, Liberia was attacked and looted, Reuters reported. Security for aid workers, for clinics and hospitals, remains a concern in the region. All of the governments affected and the international agencies fighting the epidemic are trying to reach out to the rural communities where misinformation and fear have prevented effective measures to control the spread of Ebola. Until all of the areas with infections have been reached and controls implemented, a reservoir of Ebola will remain and continue to spread, say experts.
At least one journalist escaped the mob attack.