Emmanuel Nyema and other Liberians now living in Syracuse have been in close contact with family in Western Africa. Nyema says some hospitals his relatives depend on have been forced to close because of the recent Ebola outbreak. Now Nyema is urging his family and friends there to take all precautions they can and be willing to work with doctors as they try to contain the Ebola outbreak.
"The danger is that people are afraid to go to the government and report cases because they do not want their relatives isolated. That is a real issue," said Nyema in an interview Friday morning.
The Liberian community of Syracuse is hosting an Ebola awareness rally in Clinton Square on Saturday morning from 10:00am to 11:00am. Nyema says he hopes to inspire more people to learn about the disease and support international medical efforts.
Syracuse University Philosophy professor Samuel Gorovitz has worked extensively with the World Health Organization. He says the spread of Ebola is a complex problem that will require education, cooperation and the willingness to change if a treatment isn't working.
"There will ultimately be vaccines and effective treatments. We did that with smallpox, we did that with polio but that is not going to help people right now suffering from the disease, dying from the diseases, exposed to and at risk from the disease," said Gorovitz.
Emmanuel Nyema says his relatives in west Africa are hopeful international cooperation can manage what has become a worldwide health crisis.
"Our people are feeling some relief to know that the world is getting involved and with this push we hope things will be better," said Nyema.