Via The Cambodia Daily: Measures in Place for Ebola Outbreak. Excerpt and then a comment:
The Ministry of Health’s Department of Communicable Disease Control (CDC) has selected five hospitals across the country to quarantine anyone suffering from the Ebola virus should there be an outbreak in Cambodia, its deputy director said Friday.
The capital’s Calmette Hospital, plus five other hospitals in Siem Reap, Kompong Cham, Kampot and Stung Treng provinces have been designated to treat anyone who contracts the deadly disease, said Ly Sovann, deputy director of the CDC, at the “Ebola and Public Health Risks in Cambodia” luncheon organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Phnom Penh.
Specialists have also been selected to treat people infected with Ebola, he said. “We have 2,008 people in the CDC who have trained in how to conduct primary investigations and we have experience in responding to epidemics,” Dr. Sovann said.
“[From those] there will be more specific training for 10 committed to respond when we take people suspected to have Ebola,” he added. “We need to find somebody who can really do this because it can be really dangerous.”
Dr. Sovann said there would also be medical screenings of Cambodian peacekeeping forces when they return from African nations. “We are waiting for the troops to come back [from Africa] and we will work closely with the Ministry of Defense to coordinate their return and monitor their health,” he said.
And this raises an issue I hadn't thought of before. Cambodia has had a bad bout of H5N1, but no other major disease outbreaks I'm aware of. Otherwise, its problems are those of any other poor country recovering from a horrendous genocide.
But one political consequence of political massacres is that the world community, acting through the UN, will send in peacekeepers. This is a good thing. Lester Pearson, once Canada's prime minister, invented the concept after the botched Suez invasion in 1956, and won the Nobel Peace Prize for it.
Since then Canada enjoyed a long reputation as the good guys who would go into Cyprus or Somalia so the rest of us could get some sleep.
But peacekeeping was gradually outsourced to nations that needed the income to pay their soldiers and give them something to do. That's why Nepal, with no interests in the Caribbean, ended up in Haiti and brought it cholera. Other countries are peacekeeping in Liberia after its long civil war.
The African countries are now facing a stigma around the world thanks to Ebola, and their soldiers may become increasingly unwelcome. This does not bode well for trouble spots where someone's got to be on the ground, and it's not likely to be the Swiss Guards on leave from the Vatican.
I have no idea whether this will be a long-term problem--or, if it is, how the UN will deal with it. But at the moment, countries around the world must be worrying about the black guys in blue helmets who keep the local peace.