In times past, talk of "humanitarian intervention" brought to mind images of Red Cross trucks and nurses coming to the scene of a natural disaster to tend the afflicted.
The fear of Ebola threatens to undermine our efforts over the last decade. During the war, you could at least hear the bullets, and you knew when to duck. Ebola is different. It's a silent killer that can spread without people even knowing.
Without fundamental public health infrastructures in place, no country is stable, no society is secure, no resilience exists to withstand the shocks that our 21st-century world is delivering with ever-greater frequency and force.
This is a manageable public health crisis that we know how to solve, but doing so requires our focus, our attention, our resolve and our resources, tools that only the United States has.
As I watch the woman seizing in front of me though, I do not feel helplessness, but shame. In many ways, learning how to care for patients with Ebola means unlearning some of my most basic clinical instincts.
Almost unanimously, public health officials are predicting that the Ebola crisis will get worse before it is contained.
The report is grim reading; even grimmer for the animals that died at Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute located in Albuquerque, NM.
The devastating effect Ebola is having on West Africa's fragile economies is already coming into focus. Community-wide quarantines, road blocks, the suspension of international flights, and the closure of international borders are strangling commerce.
Amid the media accounts of the worst Ebola outbreak, some significant context is largely missing from the major media reporting. Atop this list are links of the outbreak to the climate crisis and global inequality and austerity-driven cuts in public services that have greatly contributed to the rapid spread of Ebola.
While governments and doctors around the world prepare themselves for Ebola to leap across oceans, we have yet to come to terms with the most difficult enabler of the deadly virus: human nature. To combat Ebola, we have to outsmart human nature.
Oftentimes people do not realize that our fear overwhelms us because ignorance overtakes us. Often, others -- maybe the media -- play on our fears to get our attention about a disease, but do not do a good enough job to educate and empower us.
How did Africa's health systems come to be so weak? Didn't the United States and other major donors just spend billions of dollars on global health in Africa?
We must learn from responses to such epidemics in the past if we are to succeed today. Such lessons will be difficult to craft, requiring expertise in culture as well as medicine, but need to be integral parts of our global response.
A Malibu mother of two teenagers is walking straight into one of the most dangerous situations in the world.
After more than a decade of vigorous research into the deadly Ebola virus, a handful of potential treatment therapies appear to finally be on the horizon.
It has been an outbreak of terrible human suffering. Sadly, there will be a great deal more suffering before this outbreak is over. But every day there are more reasons to be hopeful.