Prep Scenario: Biowarfare

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Prep Scenario: Biowarfare

This thread is started to evaluate the governmental response to biological warfare.

In this particular scenarios, I would like to create a documentation thread for the response in Western Africa to the 2014 Ebola epidemic.

I believe that there are likely to be lessons from the Liberian and Nigerian response to Ebola.

The behavior of government bureaucracies are similar the world over.  Therefore, based upon these assumptions, there may be lessons that the prepper community can draw from these news reports.

I have discussed these issues here:

Cross-post from the Ebola thread follows:


The participants in this thread noted the collapse of the health care delivery process in Liberia.  The inability of US diplomats and their families to get basic health services was the precipitating factor in withdrawal of the families of US diplomats from Liberia.

It is my view that the Liberian government is no longer functioning appropriately.  They are unable to get food to their populace under quarantine.

The first story is on the observation of hunger and food shortages with Ebola reaching "densely populated slum areas".  Note the bureaucratic response from the Liberian government (i.e. "investigation" and "study the situation" instead of taking action to stop the spread).  The second story from Reuters implies a response at World Bank but also insufficient and bureaucratic in nature.

I am posting these reports because these are examples of the breakdown of a government that was not prepared and is not functioning.

No Food For Ebola Victims…West Point, Dolo Town To Be Quarantined

Posted on August 15, 2014

No Food

By Morrison O. G. Sayon

Amidst positive news of the survival of persons affected by the Ebola virus, latest report says victims at the ELWA Ebola Isolation Center are leaving the camp due to lack of food.

Disclosing this at the National Ebola Task Force Meeting held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Monrovia yesterday, Health Minister, Walter Gwenigale, said he had receivedseveral calls from the center that the people are hungry and need food.

According to Dr. Gwenigale, based on this latest report, most of the victims are now leaving the center which is a major threat to several communities in which those leaving are going. “I’m getting calls every day of the lack of food; the people say they are hungry and I understand that there is food there but I’m getting these calls every minute,” Liberia’s Health Minister Gwenigale said.

In quick clarification, Assistant Health Minister for Preventive Services, Tolbert Nyenswah, said food is available at the various Isolation Camps but those who are making the calls may need special diet. Nyenswah said the victims are being provided meal three times daily adding that the callers are the higher-ups who may need special kind of diet.

Minister Nyenswah promised that an investigation will be launched into the complaint by the Ebola victims and solution be found in addressing the issue. He also disclosed that the Ministry of Health has received seven tons of food from the World Health Organization (WHO) for those quarantined at the various isolation centers.

At the same time, the Presidential Task Force on Ebola is considering quarantining the densely populated community of West Point in Monrovia and Dolo Town in Margibi County. West Point is a slum populated community with an estimated population of over 20,000 inhabitants, while in Dolo Town report says at least 25 persons have died due to strange circumstances.

At the meeting yesterday, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf proposed to the Task Force the isolation of West Point and Dolo Town. The two highly populated communities have reported high rate of Ebola deaths in recent times. The task force is also considering the closing of the Waterside General Market to stop affected persons from leaving the community.

Due to the rapid spread of Ebola in the country, the Ministry of Health opened one holding center in a household in West Point on Wednesday. The Ministry is planning to open 2-3 more in the next few days based upon protocols designed by MSF and the Case management team, to isolate and hold patients before moving them to the JFK or ELWA.

President Sirleaf reasoned that to isolate West Point and densely populated areas is a difficult task but the Task Force must consider and study the situation before making final decision on the issue. At the same time, the Task Force also wants the Duala Market to be cleared so as to avoid those in the Duala area from contracting the virus.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister, Brownie Samukai has called on Government to begin taking some drastic measures to stop further spread of the Ebola virus that is killing hundreds of Liberians on a daily basis. Samukai said sternly that West Point must be quarantined with the closure of the market and that another densely populated area of Duala be cleared.

The Defense Minister said if these steps are not taken, the virus will continue to spread and claim more lives in the coming days and months. He added, “If you can’t contain those areas, you can’t resolve the problem.”

Other members of the Task Force are calling for the imposition of curfew to stop the movement of individuals in various communities. They also want Ebola message being played on radios to be changed as the right messages are not being sent out to the public.

The Defense Minister of Liberia appears to advocate quarantine of the area.  He's correct provided that the government of Liberia has military forces that can isolate and handle a potential food riot of 20,000 potential Ebola contagious people.


Now, note the next story from Reuters:

Exclusive: Emergency food drops eyed for quarantined Ebola region of West Africa
Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:55pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) -International agencies are looking into emergency food drops and truck convoys to reach extremely hungry people in Liberia and Sierra Leone, who are cordoned off from the outside world to halt the spread of the Ebola virus, a top World Bank official said on Thursday.

Hunger is spreading fast as farmers die leaving crops rotting in fields. Truckers scared of the highly infectious disease halt deliveries. Shops close and major airlines have shut down routes, isolating large swathes of the countries.

The Mano River region, home to about 1 million people and an epicenter for the deadly disease, is a major concern and the issue was raised on Wednesday with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, said Tim Evans, senior director for health at the World Bank.

“There has been a lot of inflation in food prices and a lot of difficulty in getting food to the quarantined population,” he said in an interview.

The World Bank, along with the UN and the World Health Organisation, is urgently assessing how to make emergency food deliveries, or they face the danger of a deepening health crisis from malnutrition and the spread of other diseases, he said.

“This is emerging as an important part of the immediate response,” Evans said. “We are looking at exactly what the needs are and where, and then looking at how we contribute to making sure that food gets to the right places.”

Meanwhile, the United Nation’s World Food Programme said it has declared Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone - the three countries reeling from over 1,000 deaths from Ebola - a Level Three food emergency, its highest threat. It is urgently mobilising teams to get food into the area and prevent widespread hunger and deaths.

“We are pulling out all the stops,” said Steve Taravella, WFP spokesman in Washington.

His agency already is extraordinarily stretched. Never before has it faced six top-level emergencies all at once – in SyriaIraq, South Sudan, Cameroon, Central African Republic and now the Ebola hit-countries.

“It is a dramatic, profound situation,” he said.

For West Africa, the stability of the whole region is at stake if hunger and disease spread uncontrolled, said Evans.

“It certainly is a threat to national security,” he said, stressing that a comprehensive response is needed.

But for Nigeria, the World Bank director expressed optimism it has acted promptly to contain spread of the Ebola by reaching those who came into contact with its first victim there.

“It suggests at this point that it is relatively contained,” he said.

Longer term, the Ebola outbreak has exposed the danger from chronic underfunding of national healthcare systems and the need to invest in regional laboratories to test and manage infectious diseases, he said.

Most countries fell far short of a 2000 pledge, known as the Abuja Declaration, to devote 15 percent of their budgets to healthcare. The World Bank “absolutely” expects more lending for health in the years ahead, Evans said.

Edited by admin on 11/08/2014 - 06:05
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